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Travel Agencies En Español

We live in a world in which travel has become both increasingly important and complex in its variety of modes and choices. Travelers are faced with a myriad of alternatives as to transportation, accommodations and other travel services. Some travelers choose to use a travel agency to help them navigate the choices.There are some advantages to using travel agents. They sometimes have access to special deals or packages that you cannot get on your own. They can make planning unique and exotic travel easier. They may also be helpful when booking group trips. However, travel agents do not have access to your rewards points, so they cannot book rewards travel.

Traditional Travel Agents

While most travel agencies are reputable and guide consumers honestly and competently, our office has received complaints from consumers involving agencies where the consumer paid for tickets which were never received.

OCP advises consumers to carefully research any travel agency or merchant before paying for services. Before selecting a travel agency consumers should take the following precautions:

  •  Find out how long the agency or tour operator has been in business.

  • Check to see if there are any complaints or legal actions against the merchant.  (Disclosure of Merchant Complaint Records

  • Check to see if the travel agency is a member of one of these trade associations:

  • The American Society of Travel Agents:;

  • The United States Tour Operators Association:;

  • The Association of Retail Travel Agents:

  • When paying for travel, pay with a credit card rather than by check or cash. Certain "chargeback" protections apply to credit card purchases.

  • Don't forget to get the refund policy in writing


Online Travel Agents

An online travel agency (OTA) is a website or mobile app on which consumers can search for and book travel services including flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises and activities. Payment is made directly to the OTA. Examples include Expedia and Priceline. Expedia operates, Orbitz,, Trivago, CheapTickets, Hotwire, HomeAway, and Travelocity. Priceline operates,, Cheapflights, Momondo, and Kayak. There are some smaller, independent OTAs, as well.

OTAs may be cheaper than booking directly. They can also allow for multi-airline itineraries. However, they can have drawbacks. For example, federal law provides a “24-hour rule,” which allows you to cancel an airline ticket without any penalty within 24 hours of purchase. But this law only applies to tickets booked directly with an airline. Some OTAs do provide their own 24-hour rule, but it is not required by law, so you need to be very careful about the terms and conditions applicable when you book. OTA’s may have different change and cancellation policies and fees, and may have additional hidden fees, as well. Consumers also need to be aware that not all airlines can be booked through OTAs.

OTAs are useful when doing research, and can be a source of cheaper travel alternatives. But consumers need to know that there can be major differences in customer support, policies, and fees versus booking directly, and must make sure they are aware of all terms before booking any travel through an OTA.