The following segment originally aired on the August 12th, 2011 show on BrandStar Entertainment’s morning TV show, The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television. The featured guest was the President and Chairman of The American Society of Travel Agents, Chris Russo.
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: You might want to dust off your travel agent’s number or dig up their email address after watching BrandStar Entertainment’s popular “Smart Shopper” series. You’ll not only learn just how much your travel agent can help in planning your next trip—you’ll also spare yourself a headache as well as money by not booking that trip yourself!
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: It doesn’t matter if you take to the skies, hit the road, or hop aboard a train– most of us would like to get the most bang for our buck when taking a vacation and doing it without cutting corners on comfort!
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: BrandStar Entertainment’s The Balancing Act on Lifetime brought in a true pro, President and Chairman of The American Society of Travel Agents, Chris Russo. Chris is going to show how to stretch your dollar AND your legs– when you head out of town.
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: Gas prices are so high right now and airlines are charging arm and a leg for baggage—it’s crazy. Traveling is expensive! Is it possible to travel WELL and not spend a ton of money?
Chris: Absolutely! You just have to be a savvy traveler. You have to be able to use a travel professional that’s looking for all those deals for you and especially one with The American Society of Travel Agents.
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: Most people think that the Internet would be the place to go and browse to find the best deals out there. Is the web the best site for booking travel?
Chris: The web is a great tool for both our customers and for us as travel professionals because there’s a lot of information for both of us to get. But, it’s not the end-all… be-all… like we ALL want it to be. You still want to use a travel professional. A lot of people think that if you book your air, hotel and your car all together on a website that that’s the best way to do it.
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: That’s what I’d do.
Chris: But, it’s not always the best.
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: Ok, if I wanted to use a travel agent, what can they do for me that the internet couldn’t in terms of fees and savings?
Chris: There are a lot of things. Travel professionals are there with you before, during and after your trip so they’re always looking out for you—they’re your advocate. For saving you money, we have connections already with the hotels you don’t have, meaning you don’t have to look up on the Internet at one o’clock in the morning!
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: What kind of insight can you give to our audience as a travel agent?
Chris: If you’re going on a family cruise you want to make sure that a travel agent professional will make sure that you’re not sitting right above the disco, so that the kids can go to sleep at night and aren’t next to the engine room.
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: I think having a travel agent could be an important thing, but I don’t feel it’s something that a lot of people do think about.
Chris: I think that there’s a misconception that prices are more expensive… when you use a travel professional—which is NOT true. Travel agents are always going to be there and they’re going to help you throughout the process—so you really need to use one.
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: You have that “Human Experience.” You have a physical person you know and can talk to instead of getting upset and banging on your computer keyboard when you can’t find what you’re looking for.
Chris: When you’re standing in line at the airport because you booked a ticket online and there’s a line a mile long, it’s great to have a travel professional where you can pick up the phone, call them and have THEM help you out. That’s what we’re there for!
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: How do the people wanting to travel, find the right agent for them?
Chris: Finding a travel professional is like trying to find a good lawyer, CPA or a doctor. Get recommendations from your friends. Ask them. They might have just come back from a great vacation. Ask them who they used. See if they can give some insight or can answer your questions the way YOU want them to be answered. The other thing is, if you’re looking for something special… go to The American Society of Travel Agents at travelsense.org. It’s a great resource to find a good local travel agent that’s a member of The American Society of Travel Agents.
The award-winning television production team at BrandStar Entertainment is one of the industry’s leaders. BrandStar Entertainment features a full array of creative services that include distribution, sound stages and production/post production facilities. BrandStar Entertainment is known for producing content driven shows like The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television, the only morning show in America produced by women specifically for women. BrandStar proudly carries a WomenCertified® Seal, demonstrating leadership in women friendly programming. BrandStar Entertainment’s The Balancing Act airs daily on Lifetime at 7 a.m. ET/PT. For more information, visit BrandStar Entertainment’s website for The Balancing Act at www.thebalancingact.com.