Becoming a travel agent.

Old Mar 12th, 2006, 11:27 AM
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Becoming a travel agent.

Can anyone help me find out how to become a travel agent in the NYC area?

Thank you very much.
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Old Mar 12th, 2006, 11:37 AM
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If you do a search above you will find this question has been posted numerous times before.

The consensus opinion is that being a travel agent is a very poorly paid career - and the few travel perks that are available go to senior staff - not starters/trainees - and you would be much better off getting a job with a decent salary and paying for the travel yourself.

If you are truly determined to get into the travel field the best way is to join the travel or meetings department of a major corporation (where at least you have the benefits of regular salary and holidays/health benefits) and the eventual potential to do some travel yourself (although most of the "travel time" you will actually be working 16 hours per day).
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Old Mar 12th, 2006, 11:48 AM
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I understand and thank you.
My position is that I own an expanding business and am frequently sending members of my staff to other parts of the country. I've been taking care of the travel plans myself (not much involved: book flight & hotel) but think I may be able to gain the occasional perk for my efforts.
Is there an exam?
Is there an inexpensive way to prepare for it?
Who would I contact?

I sure would appreciate some help.
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Old Mar 12th, 2006, 12:30 PM
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First, unless you actually sell airline tickets you don't have to be a travel agent (in NYS/C). And unless you're selling thousands upon thousands of dollars of airline tickets, you won't get any benefit for your time and effort. If you put together travel for a group of employees and you travel with them, you may get the benefit of a free hotel room.
 
Old Mar 12th, 2006, 01:51 PM
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I have a dear friend of mine who is a very successful travel agent. She would tell you up front you better have the stomach for the job. She has told me before, she only gets the cute little couple planning their Honeymoon about once a week (that cute little couple is all that keeps her from walking out the door).The rest of the time it's grumpy, demanding people who make unbelievable requests and complaints. She's had everything from a guy who demanded to an exact count of the number of electrical outlets his ship's cabin had, to numerous people who call and scream AT HER because they are on their vacation and it is raining.
This job is not for the faint of heart.
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Old Mar 12th, 2006, 02:11 PM
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Yes, I've thought about being a travel agent. For me at this point in my life, I would spend months (I think) going through training, and then make half the amount of money I've been making. I'll just help myself and my family with my travel expertise, and leave it at that.
 
Old Mar 12th, 2006, 03:43 PM
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Tcapp, when you put it like THAT, it doesn't sound fun at all!

But I'm not looking to work with other people.
It would only be to make travel arrangements for the company I own.
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Old Mar 12th, 2006, 05:40 PM
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If you're already making arrangements for your company you ARE a travel agent. Airlines and hotels don;t pay comission to agents any longer unless you are booking massive amounts with them and you are a preferred provider with special rates and intertwined computer systmes - think IBM or J&J.
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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 09:46 AM
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What you need is an IATA number so you can get paid by the airlines and by the hotels.

This link will explain what is an IATA number:

http://www.hometravelagency.com/archive/iatanumber.html

 
Old Mar 13th, 2006, 10:22 AM
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I used to work as an "outside agent" with a travel agency - we split the commission 50-50 - didnt make much money doing things that way but I did get some percs - It depends on the agency you work with what percs you get-I got to go on some "fam trips" and I got a lot of hotel discounts.
I did take a travel agent class - but didnt have to write an exam - through the agency I got to go to United Airlines computer classes in Denver for additional training. I would go to travel agency when I had something to book and use all their equipment and print my own tickets - so you might contact a travel agency and see what kind of deal you could strike - as said previously- the commissions now are slim to none so dont know if any agencies would be interested in "outside agents"
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Old Mar 13th, 2006, 10:33 AM
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You might want to check out www.globaltravel.com
I have been working with them for a few years on the side as a travel agent. Its more like a travel club but you get paid commission on what you book and also some good travel deals. You pay a fee each year to get a travel agent ID card and an IATA number. It might be worth checking out and help with your travel needs also.
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