How do you travel? Coffee Buyers

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How do you travel? Coffee Buyers

Postby Oliver on Sun Aug 02, 2009 2:57 pm

How do you travel? Do you use a travel agent to book your flights and hotel when you move from Bolivia to Peru on to Colombia or do you do the work yourself? Is it easier-polite to ask your origin contacts for help in this area?
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Re: How do you travel? Coffee Buyers

Postby Sean Starke on Sun Aug 02, 2009 5:51 pm

Flights I take care of; local stuff I rely on the local folks.
Sean Starke
Coffee America (USA) Corp.
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Re: How do you travel? Coffee Buyers

Postby David Kastle on Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:19 am

I agree with Sean - do the international bookings yourself (although if you are going to multiple destinations, at least with Continental- you probably better phone the airline rather than booking online). For internal travel, hotels, etc - unless you know the country, have someone local set it all up.
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Re: How do you travel? Coffee Buyers

Postby Timothy Chapdelaine on Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:59 pm

I like an agent for international.
If something comes up it is worth the little fee you pay to have someone you can have straighten it out.
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Re: How do you travel? Coffee Buyers

Postby phaelon56 on Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:22 am

I use an agent for all business travel but sometimes a flight between two foreign locations is crazy expensive on the carriers she can see on her system. In those instances I search on my own for lower costs carriers who service that region - many of whom do not show up on the systems that travel agents use (nor do they show in Web search aggregators like Kayak). I then call her back to see if she can book that leg on the alternate carrier. When she is unable to do that I book the odd leg on my own. I've seen flights as high as $600 on major carriers that I booked for $100 or less on respectable low cost carriers.

Also, in some rare instances when a flight seems ridiculously high. Don't hesitate to check prices for a train to another city and a flight from there. This is not likely to be useful in coffee growing regions but I recently found my only option from Bern Switzerland to Frankfurt Germany to be priced at $900. A train from Bern to Zurich at $80 enabled me to take a $300 flight instead.
Owen O'Neill
Syracuse NY

Phaelon Coffee
and
New York Central Coffee Roasters
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Re: How do you travel? Coffee Buyers

Postby Tim Dominick on Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:51 am

Often times in South America there are limited airline options between or within countries, especially if you are trying to get to a regional airport. You won't find some of them showing up on Orbitz or Travelocity and it can be a good move to contact a travel agent who specializes in the region.

It can't hurt to ask your in-country contacts for their advice. If they are with a cooperative or association they may have negotiated rates and might even have a travel agent they can link you with for a good deal.

Echoing what Tim C said, it helps to have someone you can call to fix problems if they arise.
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