Why Use a Travel Agent?

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, winging it alone is the last thing you want to do when it comes to travel planning these days. The CIRE Travel team has eyes and ears around the world, proactively managing your itinerary to avoid glitches along your way. Why use a travel agent? It comes down to two words: It’s Handled. Erupting volcanoes. State Department Travel Advisories. Flooded Balinese hotels. Global pandemic. Just wanting to sleep in your own bed tonight. Like the great Stevie Wonder sang, “Don’t you worry ‘bout a thing.” #CIREtotheRescue

Let Us Count the Reasons...


Airline desk agents aren’t always right, which can cause some confusing and uncomfortable moments when you’re trying to board a flight for your luxury vacation, honeymoon, business trip, incentive trip or to join your group. CIRE Travel clients know our travel advisors do their due diligence and have their backs. For example, a desk agent was convinced our client’s husband, who holds a UK passport, required a visa. We knew he did not, so when our client called us from the airport, we armed her with the facts and information she needed to explain to the desk agent. Problem solved.

At the time of changing COVID-testing requirements, an airport agent told our client he needed a negative test result to fly from San Diego to Salt Lake City to Amsterdam. We stay current on every country’s entry rules, so we knew that wasn’t the case and had informed our client no testing was needed. The airport agent double checked, and realized our client was right. After all that, his flight was canceled, but of course, CIRE was there with a new outbound flight and last-minute hotel room.

Paying a $4,000 per person change fee on business class tickets isn’t the way any mother wants to start her daughter’s study abroad program in London. But, that’s exactly what a client was facing when she had to change the arrival date for her and her daughter. Instead, she called her CIRE Travel advisor who called our airline partner. Not only did we easily reschedule the flights for her and her daughter, but also, we were able to get the change fees waived on all tickets, so the client paid nothing extra out of pocket. Saving $4,000 per person is incredible, proving connections matter.

An American client in Washington D.C. was heading to Abu Dhabi (UAE travel), but his passport was expiring in two weeks. With absolutely no way around traveling internationally with an expired passport, his only option was to get an expedited passport appointment. The Buffalo, N.Y., Passport Agency had an opening. In the time his CIRE Travel agent booked flights from Washington, D.C., to Buffalo to Abu Dhabi, the Agency appointment filled. The Honolulu Agency had an appointment opening. The same thing happened again. This time, his CIRE Travel agent stayed on the phone with him as he checked the New Orleans Agency for appointments. They had an opening, so our agent booked next-day flights from D.C. to New Orleans, then to Dubai (Abu Dhabi had sold out). CIRE saves the day and our client was on his way with valid passport in hand.


It was 8:15am. A Delta Airlines flight to Cancun was departing at 8:30am. Our honeymoon couple hadn’t checked in. After sleeping through three alarms, the couple called us at 9:00am. We were ready with an 11:00am American Airlines flight to Cancun. We ticketed the couple on the new flight, reconfirmed their return flight from the original roundtrip tickets, got them a credit for the unused outbound flight (saving them $340), and rescheduled their hotel transfer—all by 9:30am. “Thank God for you guys because if I had to take care of all of this myself this morning I would probably cry,” said the bride.


A flight from the US to Tahiti was cancelled. This was round 2 for this honeymoon couple, since their 2020 trip to Italy and Greece was canceled. Delta nor SkyTeam had any other flights to Tahiti from the U.S. Delta initially offered a credit for the amount of their outbound flight and allowed them to keep their return. But the couple was swimming in $2,000 worth of flight credit. They were starting medical school and didn’t need to worry about expiring credits. We were able to negotiate a major exception to refund a portion of a non-refundable ticket while keeping their return flight home, still in business class! New flights were booked in premium economy on United. Rather than potentially losing thousands, the couple enjoyed an extra night in Tahiti for $475. And, no one flew coach.


The State Department issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory, and CIRE Travel had 50 clients traveling internationally who needed to repatriate. Our team booked everyone on flights within two hours, getting them back on U.S. soil. They were definitely relieved, but no one kissed the ground as far as we know.

A non-client, friend-of-a-friend, was at risk of being stranded in St. Maarten when the announcement was made that the SXM airport was closing. There are worse places to be stranded, for sure. But, she couldn’t get her airline on the phone, and there weren’t any rebooking options on the airline’s website. Desperate, she reached out to CIRE. We got her a seat on a flight home for the next day (one of the last), gave her peace of mind, and threw in a few CIRE perks, too.
We rescued two honeymoon couples – one from South Africa and one from Thailand – when a Level 4 Travel Advisory was announced. We not only got them home, but also arranged refunds for the majority of their unused hotel accommodations.

We were able to obtain a full refund for nine people who were scheduled to go on a group trip to Antigua in April of the pandemic. And, they didn’t pay a single penalty.

A client had plans to take his daughter to Germany the first week of April during the pandemic for a special bucket list concert. #coolgirldad! The concert was rescheduled for the end of the year. We were able to get them a full credit for every part of the trip.
A client’s daughter was on a study abroad program in Denmark. We received a heads up that Denmark was closing its borders and got the daughter on a flight home before the announcement hit the media and before seats were limited and prices skyrocketed.

“I went to NC instead of SC!” A client booked herself to Greenville, NC instead of SC. Cheapo-Air wouldn’t help her, but guess who came to the rescue? CIRE Travel, of course.


Sure, you can book a quick flight yourself, like one client who books his own Boston to DC flights. But, one morning, he got stuck in DC due to storms. CIRE Travel was able to get him back to Boston lickety-split, despite “everything being sold out.”

Remember the volcano erupting in Iceland that closed airspace for weeks? Our clients were stuck in London, so we booked them on the train to Brussels and flew them home from there. Our clients’ colleagues who didn’t book with us weren’t as fortunate—no quick trains or flights home for them. Whomp, whomp.

Iceland volcano, part 2: a client had 3 simultaneous international roadshows that were affected by the closed European airspace. When flights out of Abu Dhabi were canceled, we got them a car to Dubai. When Sydney flights were cancelled, we got them a car to Melbourne.


A couple on their way to Bali for their dream honeymoon were mid-flight when a storm hit the island and flooding closed their hotel. Before the couple heard the news, CIRE Travel had booked another hotel for the same cost and even upgraded them from a 4-star to a 5-star accommodation. We arranged transportation before their plane touched down, so a driver was waiting to greet them with a personal note explaining what had happened before whisking them off to their luxury honeymoon. This rescue wouldn’t be possible without our close relationships with multiple industry partners.


A Midwest-based client was traveling to Bali. One missed connection would mean missing the one flight out of LAX that evening, delaying her trip by 2 days. Watching her plane, we saw it was going to be an hour late arriving to her airport. Rather than risk it, we rebooked her on an earlier flight on a different airline without additional cost. Connection made.


A week-long business trip left a client ready to be home and sleep in her own bed. After boarding, an announcement was made that the flight had been canceled. She turned on her phone to call her husband, and a voicemail was already waiting. Not from him, but from her trusted CIRE Travel agent:

“I’m sorry your flight got canceled! I got you one of the last seats on the 7:55pm flight to Boston tonight. I also have you backed up on the 9:15am to Portland tomorrow morning. I can either get you a car service from Logan home to Maine later tonight, or I can get you a hotel room for the night and you can fly directly to PWM in the morning. What do you want to do?” And, it was done.