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Contributor
Posts: 70
Registered: ‎10-28-2017

Re: Thinking about becoming an online travel agent.....need advice, please!

What was your occupation before ? Have you ever traveled ?

 

Have  you searched our government agency's that will pay for watching your Mom?

 

 I would encourage you to do the Travel Agent School , you have nothing to loose and so much to gain  . You have friends they will be your contacts and then get a reference from them .  You can be a success you have do the leg work .

Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,663
Registered: ‎02-02-2015

Re: Thinking about becoming an online travel agent.....need advice, please!


@4paws wrote:

I went to Travel Agent schooling for 6 months.  Got an A in the class, but decided it’s not what I wanted to do.


@4paws Just curious....what did you find about the Travel Agent school that made you want to change course, if you don't mind saying so. I know I would never be good at dealing with people about their travel plans, as I think you would be spending a lot of time setting something up for a customer and then they would change their mind and want to leave for their trip a day earlier, one week later, etc. I would probably get frustrated doing things over and over.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,702
Registered: ‎03-15-2010

Re: Thinking about becoming an online travel agent.....need advice, please!

[ Edited ]

@Sue98 wrote:

@esmeraldagooch wrote:

Sue 98 , Are you supposed to find your own clients or man a phone at a established business?   I have a friend who bought into a franchise and after two years still hasn't made a sale.


Yes, as I understand it, I will be responsible for finding my own clients.  Smiley Sad


Ouch!

Then why not just do it yourself????

 

Things to think about

Most people who use travel agents any more are people who know NOTHING about the hows and why's of travel so they expect you to be an expert

OR

Business travelers who do not have the time but are very demanding.  My husbands company uses a small group of online travel agents but they are expected for nearly 24 hours a day service (due to time zones).  Weather problem in Europe and everyone needs to be re-booked on flights and new hotels and cars at 2 am or 2 pm they are expected to provide a solution now!  People have to get to there meetings, time is money.

 

I used her recently to book a flight for me $600 round trip tix it had to be re-booked 3 times due to airline cancellations.  Now I see how little money she made.  Smiley Sad  But is was easy for me as she had to do all the "leg work."

Valued Contributor
Posts: 842
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Thinking about becoming an online travel agent.....need advice, please!

I am in the industry and work for a Fortune 100 company. I would not recommend entering into the travel agent world. All hotel companies, to be followed by airlines, are pushing strongly the loyalty factor. That means it is cheaper to book direct. There is no benefit to using a TA for most travelers. I foresee many changes down the road for this intermediary segment. Less commission first. Then, perhaps limiting availability. A segment of leisure travelers still uses TA but how long will that continue?

This is my opinion being in the industry.
Honored Contributor
Posts: 26,194
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Thinking about becoming an online travel agent.....need advice, please!

[ Edited ]

@Sunshine45 wrote:

have you ever thought about working for qvc or hsn in customer service?

i believe they have people all over the country who work from their own homes to take orders and handle customer problems.


I know HSN does because there was an ad in our local newspaper recently for HSN CS reps and it said you work out of your house. 

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Contributor
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎09-28-2012

Re: Thinking about becoming an online travel agent.....need advice, please!

Years ago, I worked for a major airline for 20+ years.  I would never suggest anyone becoming a travel agent, for all the reasons listed above.  The amount of money received from the airlines, cruise ship companies, hotels, cars, etc doesn't come close to the expense of time you need to put in.  Don't know how it works now, but "back in the day", I helped someone start up his own travel agency from scratch.  A TA couldn't write tickets for something like 6 months, which means daily trips to an airport to pay for and receive tickets.  If someone is at their destination and needs to change the return, they will call you, and expect you to be very responsive to their needs...after all, they are paying you. Would you know the airlines routes, to be able to know what other airline to call?   If you have to be away from your computer, taking you Mom to the doctors, etc., What will you do?  

Yes, you do get free or reduced travel, but don't romanticize that.  It is NOT a win-win situation.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 14,424
Registered: ‎06-27-2010

Re: Thinking about becoming an online travel agent.....need advice, please!

[ Edited ]

 

            @Sue98, Just a note about working from home, in general, since the posts seem to lean away from the travel industry...   

 

            Clark Howard's website regularly updates their articles about working from home and helping us to spot the legitimate companies and opportunities and avoid scams.   It looks like they list them under their "Jobs & Military" category.   Here's a link to the general listing, articles in chronological order:  https://clark.com/employment-military/

 

            Whatever you decide, I wish you and your mother well.   She's very lucky to have your loving care and support.❤️   I hope you give yourself an occasional (((hug))) and remember to take good care of yourself, too.

 

⭐️"Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy.” ~H.W. Newton⭐️


Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,111
Registered: ‎03-13-2010

Re: Thinking about becoming an online travel agent.....need advice, please!

I would be very careful because this could take up a lot more of your time than you anticipate.  And if you're busy with your Mom, you likely won't have the availability that's required.

 

As others have said, lots of people book their own travel now, so the need for travel agents isn't what it used to be.  Those who book through you are going to expect you to solve problems that turn up, and that could be any time of day or night.

 

The only advantage I can see to doing this would be the potential for free travel for yourself.  But since you're caring for your Mom I'm not sure that would be of any value to you.

 

There are lots of other work-at-home opportunities, and my advice would be to find one of those, preferably one with set hours.  I wish you the best!

Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,171
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Thinking about becoming an online travel agent.....need advice, please!


@sassenach1 wrote:
I am in the industry and work for a Fortune 100 company. I would not recommend entering into the travel agent world. All hotel companies, to be followed by airlines, are pushing strongly the loyalty factor. That means it is cheaper to book direct. There is no benefit to using a TA for most travelers. I foresee many changes down the road for this intermediary segment. Less commission first. Then, perhaps limiting availability. A segment of leisure travelers still uses TA but how long will that continue?

This is my opinion being in the industry.

 

I always book directly, especially hotels/motels. It's hard to deal with a third party with cancellations, extra charges, etc.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 842
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Thinking about becoming an online travel agent.....need advice, please!

[ Edited ]

@missy1- Kudos to you!😊. Always, always book direct with the hotel or airline. There is no benefit whatsoever to booking via Expedia or other other Online Travel agencies(OTAs). In fact, it is cheaper to book direct. And, as you mentioned, hotels cannot make any changes to your reservation or cancel if you book through OTAs.