Google Flights: “No Problem” Say Travel Agencies

Apr 24, 2015

Recently, Google announced upgrades to its Google Flights price comparison tool. The tool is designed to make booking flights and planning trips in general easier for consumers. News of the enhancements drew little noise from travel agencies though, who claim that despite technological advancements in travel, many avid travelers still prefer the relationships and expertise they find from travel agencies.

Some travel agencies like David Travel, view new booking tools as convenient allies to be shared with clients. But agencies have no fear of being replaced, as they say clients generally use Google Flights as starting point for travel and leave it to their travel agents to book and buy. Plus most agents note that while Google Flights can effectively help clients find flights, it can’t replicate the clout and relationships that most travel agencies have.

Tour operators have the ability to combine hotel and airfare to get fantastic packages with lower deposits. Some travel agents cut out the competition all together. Judy Nidetz, a Chicago travel agent, refuses to book a plane ticket that does not include a travel package through a tour operator. Nidetz doesn’t believe her clientele would want to waste their time using tools like Google Flights as they would rather leave it in the hands of someone they can trust. In addition, Nidetz states that she can book flights and entire travel packages faster and more efficiently using her own specialized booking software.

A common theme amongst travel agencies is that they don’t fear new consumer travel tools, because their educated and sophisticated clientele prefer the expertise and connections of travel agencies. This argument may have some merit. In the last year, there has been a significant resurgence in travel related services and agent services. Although the average consumer can book individual tickets with online systems, travel agencies are more equipped to handle more complicated scenarios, especially with large groups.

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Having a merchant account allows an account holder to take advantage of merchant cash advances. When a merchant is approved for an advance, the business agrees to receive a lump sum of cash in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of future credit card sales.

Pricing varies depending on the merchant’s industry, past credit card processing history, the type of business seeking the account, average ticket sales, and average transaction volumes.

Yes, EMB works with merchants who are building their credit, as well as those who have poor credit. EMB also approves merchants that have no credit card processing history and businesses that have lost their merchant accounts due to high chargebacks.

Several factors influence a merchant’s risk level. Though only one factor likely will not get a merchant classified as high risk, a combination of these may: business size, location, and industry, credit score, credit card processing history, a industry’s reputation for excessive chargebacks, a prior history of high chargeback ratios, and whether a merchant exclusively sells online.

Virtual terminals are stationed on a merchant’s website, making it easy for customers to make a payment or purchase online. Merchants or a payment processor can easily set up virtual terminals, so online businesses can accept credit and debit card and e-check transactions.

A merchant account is a business account with an acquiring bank. Without this business account, which actually works more like a line of credit, a merchant cannot accept and process credit and debit card transactions. Businesses need a merchant account to accept major credit cards via a static point-of-sale terminal, mobile card reader, or through a virtual payment gateway.

After filling out EMB’s simple online application and submitting any necessary, requested documents, many merchants get approved within 24 and 48 hours.

EMB specializes in working with high-risk merchants. EMB works with many merchants, including but not limited to businesses in these industries: gambling and gaming, adult entertainment, nutraceuticals, vaping and e-cigarettes, electronics, tech support, travel, high-end furniture, weight loss programs, calling cards, e-books and software, and telecommunications.

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