Just how difficult are IATA and Sabre?

Reply

Dec 29th, 2006, 06:28 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,309
Just how difficult are IATA and Sabre?

Could I say that I know IATA and Sabre reservation systems when applying for a job and then, in case I get it, do a quick online course over the weekend? The online courses Iíve found are quite expensive. Does anyone know if itís possible to access something for free?
Asante sana
Nyamera is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 29th, 2006, 06:40 AM
  #2
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I took a quickie Sabre course and it was easy enough, and with practice I probably could have gotten the hang of it (before being bored out of my mind), but question?

Are you looking for a position as an airline reservations agent or a travel agent? Know that these positions do not pay lots of money and if hoping for free trips, these are often hard to come by. Airlines and TAs work their people like "dogs" (my apology to dogs) - long hours, 6/days a week, nights, etc.
 
Reply With Quote
Dec 29th, 2006, 07:30 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,737
I personally find Sabre (the direct interface flavor) to be so clunky and 20th Century that it drives me nuts. I also have access to Worldspan, Amadeus and Apollo, and frankly they're all infuriating, never mind getting my poor brain all confoosed when I put Amadeus commands onto a Sabre screen or v.v. Sabre has a "My Sabre" GUI interface that's somewhat better, but it still suffers from the limitations (clients especially) inherent in the service.

I don't think there's any "free ride" for Sabre out there. There are a couple of US$100 - $200 CD-based training programs that can probably be gone through in a weekend, but the one I bought some time ago is pretty lame.

BTW Sabre Holdings has just been sold, and change might be in the air. Or it might just be gas.
Gardyloo is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 29th, 2006, 07:48 AM
  #4
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,309
Thanks, Sandi. Would you say that you donít need any reservation systems as a travel agent and that they just use those requirements to make the heap of applications smaller? Thereíre 2 TA job ads that Iím interested in. One is near where I live and the other is in Cape Town. I know you donít earn a lot of money working for a TA, but Iíve never had a well-paid job and Iíd certainly earn more money than Iím doing at the moment, teaching evening classes and trying to sell Kenyan curios. I donít think Swedish TAs have 6 day weeks, and working full-time Iíd earn enough for an East African safari in 6 months. The Cape Town job sounds a lot more interesting Ė even though thereíre too many wineries for my taste- but thereís a risk Iíd be sitting in front of a computer 6 days a week and not earning enough to go on safari. They have other requirements that I donít meet, but Iíll give it a try anyway.

Gardyloo, you make me really worried. My brain is very easily confoosed and I find the 21st Century even more confoosing.
Nyamera is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 29th, 2006, 08:56 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,737
Nyamera, I'm sorry if I worried you. Bottom line is that Sabre or any GDS system is easily learnable - if they weren't they wouldn't have as many users as they do. They just require a bit of "un-learning" in computer-ese, if you get my meaning.

Just my opinion, but if a TA uses familiarity with some GDS or another as a screening function for applicants, I'd be inclined to look rather carefully at them as a potential employer. Is it that they can't be bothered with having you learn on the job? Or that the position is nothing but fiddling with PNRs and on-screen work, and no selling/client support?

Not to be preachy, but I look at job interviews as cases where the applicant should be interviewing the employer equally as much as the other way around. If you tell them in an application that you know what GDS/CRS systems are, and that you'll take it upon yourself to learn the syntax(es) once you're employed, and they still say no, then you're probably better off anyway. Just my opinion, of course.

Good luck!
Gardyloo is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 29th, 2006, 10:08 AM
  #6
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,309
Thanks, Gardyloo. I agree with everything you say, but itís the employers market and they can have any silly requirements they feel like having Ė then theyíll hire some completely unskilled person that they know. Now at least I know how to express myself ďI know what GDS/CRS systems are Ö" Iíll use that!
Nyamera is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 29th, 2006, 10:24 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,032
Just be sure that you know the basics: "Could I say that I know IATA and Sabre reservation systems..." ...IATA is NOT a reservation system.
NoFlyZone is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 29th, 2006, 11:28 AM
  #8
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
IATA = Int'l Assoc of Travel Agents, a society, membership association.

Can't say what the market is or requirements, but years back when I was seeking a position with a TA, I had started first by taking a travel course, provided by one of the large TA companies in NY. Price was right, small classes, twice weekly for about 2/months. They covered everything beginners needed to obtain an entry level position, maybe even open your own travel services, ie just booking airline tickets. Needless to say, I passed with flying colors.

One benefit was that they had open houses for various tour operators to pitch their operations to students... and some prominent companies, including airlines. Surprisingly, only a few companies had in-house training programs. In all instances, you'd enter at the lowest rung of pay (though not as bad as it could have been; the airlines though were only paying about $12/hr.) with the worst hours.

Surprisingly, I managed interviews with some African travel operators and no hire. If I must say, I actually had more knowledge than the persons interviewing me. End results, my own business, as you know.

There are a number of people I know in the travel industry, all who specialize (vs being a generalist and selling packaged tours wherever). They specialize in airline tickets, cruises, country specific - few do it all. They paid their dues and now do what works best for them. But still it's almost a 24/7 life for them.

Many, even with 20-30/yrs. don't have the liberty to travel as often as they wish. So one has to choose what's most important - money, time, travel opportunities. And as you say, it's an employers market - you'd better have alot to offer.

I certainly wouldn't want to trapse off to Cape Town without some sort of guarantee. If you can find something locally, give it a shot and see if they'll train a beginner... maybe even start as a receptionist and work your way into the business if you find you actually like it... see how others work, their hours, management, etc. etc. Once you have your foot thru the door, more opportunity.

Let us know how your progress.
 
Reply With Quote
Dec 29th, 2006, 01:27 PM
  #9
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,309
NoFlyZone, good point. I have read about IATA on flight tickets and elsewhere, but donít know that much. The position in Cape Town requires ďIATA competenceĒ.

Sandi, it sounds like I would need some kind of TA course. Iím not really wild about the travel industry, except imagining myself as the owner of Nyamera Camp, but itís the only job that with some luck could take me a little bit closer to Africa. Maybe I should try to become like you. Do you need a lot of money to start your own TA? Iíve been told that you do. The TA not too far from where I live thatís advertising is called Kenzan but do trips all over the world. In Kenya theyíre working with Somak Travel and to me that sounds like packed minibuses. If the travel operators that didnít hire you are lurking at Fodorís they must be wringing their hands in frustration.
Nyamera is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 29th, 2006, 01:37 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,222
Someday we will all be trying desperately to secure reservations at Nyamera Camp. You will have been through a few careers by then, slowly and methodically working your way closer to your goal.

Give it a shot and best of luck.
Leely is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 29th, 2006, 02:07 PM
  #11
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,309
Leely: always the most charming of Fodorites. Happy New Year!
Nyamera is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 3rd, 2007, 03:17 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 11
Hi Nyamera
I worked as a reservation agent for an airline for 5 years. Sabre is clunky and runs using command lines (remember DOS??) which pretty much have to be memorized. It's pretty much the opposite of a windows based system. I would be pretty surprised if you could find a place to use it for free because from what I understand, fees for using the system as based on the number of commands that are entered.
As for Sandiís comments that airlines and TA's work like dogs, it's very true and the pay is less than good. The only way that I would go back would be if I did not have to work full time (i.e. I did it because I wanted to, part time) because the ticket prices are unbeatable ($500 confirmed return from JKF to JNB)

Lindsay
aurora82 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 3rd, 2007, 03:18 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 11
Sorry ..it's JFK - JNB
aurora82 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 3rd, 2007, 08:02 AM
  #14
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,309
Hello Lindsay,
Thanks for your bad news, except about the tickets that sound really good. Itís not really that big a chance/risk Iíll get any of the TA jobs anyway.
I wasnít anywhere near a computer before Windows. It must have been really scary
Nyamera is offline  
Reply With Quote
 


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:54 PM.