Helen Dyck

Why use a travel agent?

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Helen’s career began in bookkeeping, insurance and international banking. She left the workforce to have children, returning in 1985 to join the travel industry. Helen’s love for geography and history has been richly rewarded in this industry. She loves to learn about different cultures and enjoys sharing this knowledge. Service is a part of Helen’s very nature. She is a Rotarian, a member of Beta Sigma Phi and a volunteer at the Salvation Army, Elder College and Sunday school. As Manager of Marlin Travel in Parksville, Helen is a CTC Certified Travel Consultant, a CLIA Accredited Cruise Counsellor, and a destination specialist.

Imagine yourself in the Denver Airport, connecting to Cancun for your daughter’s wedding, when suddenly all flights are grounded due to severe winter weather. The lineups at the ticket counters are snaking through the terminal and the toll-free airline call center has a two hour wait on hold.  If you booked your flights with a travel agent, you are probably more fortunate than your fellow paasengers who have booked their flights online. Usually one call to your travel agent will protect your spot on the next available flight to your destination.

A few years ago, most of Western Europe’s airspace was shut down due to volcanic ash. We were able to assist clients who were stuck in London to get home sooner than many others. The British authorities denied passengers entrance to Heathrow unless they had confirmed reservations, so we were busy working for our clients while they slept.

When southern Ontario suffered a massive power outage in the middle of a summer heat wave, we were able to rebook our clients when they were not able to contact airlines or make arrangements in an airport that was virtually shut down. Travel agencies often get calls for assistance in these types of situations, but sadly, most of the time we are not able to help as privacy laws dictate that we cannot access files if the original booking has not been made by our agency. Your travel agent works for you and is your advocate when things go wrong, be it schedule changes, cancellations or flight delays. The next time you plan a vacation, ask yourself who will be there for you when something goes wrong.

10 reasons why smart consumers use a travel agent:

Compare the services your travel agent provides against any other means of buying travel. It’s no competition.

  1. The best value for your travel dollar.  We inform you about all your choices, let you know about special promotions, and can advise on the quality of a particular product.
  2. Convenient one-stop shopping.  We’ll save you time and money by handling every aspect of your trip, from air tickets to your car rental, and from lodging to activities.
  3. Expert guidance.  We’re experts in understanding the intricacies of the system and in helping you take full advantage of them.
  4. Professional advice.  Our job is to make sure you get where you need to go, at the best price, and in the most pleasant way possible.
  5. Trust.  We’re not some anonymous web site or long distance number. We’re a local business. You know how to reach us when you need us.
  6. Maximum choice.  We give you a wide variety of travel options and quotes from competing travel suppliers.
  7. Customer advocate.  Experience problems during your trip? We can assist you in resolving concerns.
  8. Personalized service.  We’re not some impersonal voice thousands of miles away. We’re your neighbour. We know you and what you value in your travel experience.
  9. Time savings.  We have all the information at our fingertips and can pull up your travel options within seconds.
  10. Unbiased information.  We work for you, not the travel supplier. Our only objective is to get you the best value and satisfy you completely. That way you’ll come back and see us again.


Helen Dyck
Manager, Marlin Travel
125 McCarter Street, Box 1900
Parksville, B.C. V9P2H6
Telephone: 250-248-2041 or 1-800-806-2041
Fax: 250-248-4767
Email Helen


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One Comment

  1. Hi Helen – I have to thoroughly agree with your article. Here’s a cse study:Some years ago a friend and I booked, months ahead, a trip to St. John’s Nflnd. When we checked our bags at YVR, luckily the ‘happy checker’ commented, “There you go ladies – your bags are on their way to ST. JOHN.”
    Panic! We wanted to go to ‘the rock’! My ticket agent was loathe to change my ticket, tho’ my friend had no trouble with her agent. Well, last resort: I said to friend “I’m going to call —-.” “But he won’t be at his office yet,” she moaned. “Yes, but he’ll be in his bed!” I answered her. Phone call made, travel agent groggily answered, called airline immediately, I was issued a new ticket, aircraft’s door closed on our coat tails! We BOTH landed in St. John’sssss!

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