Travel with Katie Butler: Shop local and use your independent travel agent

​There are many memorable dates that have stuck with me throughout my now 35 year career in the travel industry but March 6, 2013 is up there at the very top and was indeed the reason I decided to open Total Travel as an independent travel agency.
Total Travel at Heckmondwike.Total Travel at Heckmondwike.
Total Travel at Heckmondwike.

Katie Butler, Total Travel, writes: As many of you already know – Total Travel in Heckmondwike was formerly a Co-operative Travel branch which was subsequently merged with Thomas Cook in 2011.

This week marks 11 years since I was called to a meeting where it was announced that the saturated retail estate would be closing 195 high street stores following the joint venture of Thomas Cook and Co-Operative Travel. The Heckmondwike store to be one of them.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Of course, it turned out for the best – enabling me the opportunity to take on the premises and keep on our assistant manager Leanne. For almost 11 years now – we have looked after our customers as Total Travel and we have never looked back. In fact we now have two high street branches and we employ eight local staff.

Last week we caught up with ABTA and Action Fraud, the national fraud and crime reporting service who have launched a holiday fraud campaign ahead of the summer months, urging holidaymakers to play it safe and do your research before booking your trip.

Last year, 6,640 reports of holiday fraud were made to Action Fraud and holiday-makers lost a combined total of £12.3 million, meaning an average loss of £1,851 per victim.

Pauline Smith, Head of Action Fraud, said: "As people think ahead to book their summer holidays, understandably everyone is increasingly on the lookout for the best deals. With the cost of living squeezing our finances, its easy to forget to stay vigilant against fraudsters offering cheaper deals and great prices that are too good to be true. We want to avoid people losing their hard-earned money and help raise awareness of the signs of holiday fraud. Before booking any trips or signing up to any deals, do your research and check for ABTA and ATOL logos before clicking the confirmation button."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

We really do have some fantastic established high street agents in our area and we have access to a huge selection of deals and suppliers, so before you press book, why not pay us a visit and choose to shop local.

Best and worst airlines for 2024 – the results are out. A survey of 'Which?' members was conducted in October last year and relates to more than 10,000 flights and the results were announced last week.

UK carrier British Airways ranked low for both long-haul and short-haul flights, BA's customer score for long-haul flights was the joint third lowest out of 17 carriers and for short haul flights, British Airways' score was 56 per cent, the fifth lowest among 22 airlines. Once again Yorkshire based airline took the top spot for short haul airline and the best airline for long-haul flights was Singapore Airlines.

As we further approach the summer season the demand for holidays to travel in the next few month remains extremely high and last week bookings to travel in May and June accounted for a whopping 29 per cent of our newly booked holidays, with Tenerife and Majorca not shifting from their top positions.

Cruise and long haul holidays remained popular with Caribbean Cruises taking top spot for the most booked cruise last week.