Japan - HIS' overseas ticketing desk
May 15, 12, 5:57 am
Has anyone ever used the overseas ticketing desk (海外発券デスク) of HIS? I'm thinking of purchasing a complex itinerary and they seem like a good option in this land of packaged tours and high fares.
May 15, 12, 6:01 pm
They're the company that got caught charging higher prices to foreigner customers vs. Japanese customers.
HIS Travel Agency’s discriminatory policies rip-off foreigners (http://www.japanprobe.com/2006/07/11/his-travel-agencys-discriminitory-policies-rip-off-foreigners/)
I used them a few times before that incident, and service and prices weren't especially good, so I switched to another travel agency.
May 15, 12, 6:35 pm
I used the JTB Private Desk recently for a similar purpose. They were generally OK, and gave me the GDS quoted price plus a couple thousand yen ticketing fee. There was one hiccup in that the UA flights on my itinerary didn't migrate properly to the post-merger UA system, and long-since-rescheduled flight information was still showing up in JTB's system for some reason. So you have to be careful and personally double-check everything. That experience made me much more reluctant to mess with "complex itineraries" ...
May 19, 12, 3:33 am
So I dropped by the HIS headquarters in Shibuya today to try and book my itinerary. It did not go smoothly. The TA I was dealing with had never seen anything like this before, but more than that, he made several basic mistakes (incorrect dates, forgetting the last segment of the itinerary, not checking that the fare basis was correct, trying to book under invalid booking codes) which made the entire process take much too long -- an hour and a half. In the end, I was able to get something close to what I wanted, but I was told there would be a 31,500 JPY (!!!) ticketing fee. I told him I'd think about it.
I get the feeling that I was not getting the highest-caliber TAs by visiting on the weekend, hence my rather poor experience. I may give the JTB Private Desk a call (do they do non-Japan ticketing?), but otherwise, I am in search of a competent TA, so if anyone has any advice I would be much appreciative.