Affiliate Travel Agent : What is it?

travelagentAn affiliate travel agent doesn’t have to worry about things like figuring out reservation system computers, writing tickets, negotiating pricing, confirming reservations and following up on the numerous details involved in making quality travel arrangements. You won’t have to work set hours, sit at a desk, or go into an office.

Consider Becoming an Affiliate Travel Agent

Once you have someone interested in a trip, you’ll just refer that person to the travel consultants at your hosting travel agency. These consultants operate state-of-the-art computer reservations and ticketing systems. You refer the business. They do the work

To refer someone, you’ll have access to a website where you can electronically transmit travel plans to the appropriate consultant.

All you have to do to sell travel is to do what comes naturally after you take an exciting trip. When you talk to someone about your trips, you just have to describe the feeling of the crystal clear salt water swirling around you as you snorkel the Great Barrier Reef…the warm sunshine on your back…thousands of colorful fish glittering below you like brilliant gemstones.

You’ll just describe the mouth watering aroma of the spicy seafood gumbo in a New Orleans restaurant and the taste explosion it brought once you had that first delicious spoonful. In other words, you’ll just talk about your experiences.

Types of Travel Agents

There are different kinds of travel agents and some of them have a more difficult role. So you understand what kind of travel agent you will be, let me explain what kind of agents there are.

Each type of agent has slightly different benefits and different levels of effort to get those benefits (the more travel you sell, the more benefits you can get).

  1. Travel Agent: This is what you normally think of when you hear the term travel agent. This is the dying breed since the advent of the Internet. These are the people who sit in travel agencies for eight hours a day making calls and talking to people to help them with their travel plans. They either get a commission on each sale or they earn wages and get bonuses.
  2. Home Based Travel Agent: These people are associated with a main travel agency. They may have to purchase a license that gives them access to a centralized reservation system that enables them to book travel. They are just like the travel agent above in that they talk to customers all day helping them to book travel and make their travel plans. They get paid commissions on each sale they make. The main difference between these people and regular travel agents is that they work out of their homes.
  3. Home Based Referral Travel Agent: This is the type of agent we are talking about here. Referral agents are like home based agents, but they don’t actually book the travel plans. They refer the client to their host travel agency who does the booking. Of course, since there is less work done, the commissions are a little lower than the other two agents above. But referral agents can focus solely on finding clients and leave all the backend stuff to the specialists. And they still get to enjoy the perks of being a travel agent.

Certifications Required

Speaking of perks, let’s cover the different levels of travel agent certification there are so you know the full extent of what perks you can achieve when you become an affiliate travel agent. There are really only two levels of certification: IATA and IATAN.

IATA

IATA stands for International Air Transport Association and IATAN is short for International Airlines Travel Agent Network. They are often incorrectly used interchangeably but they are two different affiliated companies.

IATA is a private association of international airlines. No matter what type of travel agent you become, you’ll get a card with an IATA number on it. This card is recognized around the world and it is the key to the perks you’ll get as a travel agent. The amount of discount is dependent on the companies that supply whatever you are trying to get a discount on.

The IATA number on your travel agent card identifies the hosting travel agency you sign up with. The hosting agency lets you use the number, plus they give you a letter stating that you are a travel agent with that agency. More details on how you’ll get your card will be shared later.

Whenever you request a discount you will be asked for your IATA number. You could also be asked for an IATAN or ARC number (we’ll talk about those next), but they are really asking for the same thing so you’ll give them this IATA number.

IATAN

IATAN is a related company that approves U.S. travel agencies for the sale of international airline tickets. You’ll also sometimes hear about ARC, which stands for the Airlines Reporting Corporation. It is the agency that oversees the sale of all airline tickets in the United States, but IATAN is the only company you need to think about.

You have to qualify for an IATAN card, which then provides you with additional benefits beyond what is available to you as a new agent. To qualify for an IATAN card you must be at least 18 years old, work a minimum of 20 hours per week selling travel, and earn a minimum of $5,000 per year in travel commissions (about $100,000 to $120,000 in travel sales).

Once you qualify for IATAN you are placed on a list by your hosting agency and then, for a small fee, you receive an IATAN card.

You will receive even better discounts but the biggest difference is that you can now deal directly with the airlines to book flights by calling them on the phone. You’ll qualify for their AD75 programs, which means you get 75% discount off the full ticket price of the flight. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Times 10 Travel

Being native to Florida, Times 10 offers valuable information to businesses both locally and abroad who are looking to make a viable, effective connection to the state of Florida. Times 10 covers the most widely used methods of travel, and helps deliver effective results to businesses.

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