General Question

The_Inquisitor's avatar

Anybody know anything about being a travel agent?

Asked by The_Inquisitor (3163points) October 18th, 2009

Well, i’m almost 100% sure that I will go into business and take human resources, but I wanted to just know more about travel agents before I make my final choice.

What exactly do they do, and how much do they earn hourly?

Tell me everything you know about being a travel agent.

Please and thank you!

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8 Answers

judochop's avatar

I hear it’s a real trip.

judochop's avatar

Sorry. Le’ sigh.

drdoombot's avatar

It’s a dying profession. People can find cheaper prices for flight+hotel on the internet.

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t know about independent travel agencies, which may well be losing clientele, but large corporations with worldwide branches and traveling executives, managers, sales forces, and field personnel still need real people supporting their activities with air and land arrangements.

Until recently I occupied a cubicle next to the travel services group in the large company I worked for. They were on the phone (loud) a lot, so I overheard plenty while trying to block them out. They all seemed to have a lot of fun; the mood was like a party most of the time. They had times of very high pressure trying to get arrangements made and problems solved, and their crises and deadlines were real (the guy stranded at the Dubai airport and out of cash couldn’t be left until morning even if it was their quitting time), and they were constantly meeting about cost-cutting strategies and keeping up with new regulations, etc. But they also (a) got a lot of freebie food and merchandise from travel vendors, (b) talked to people all over the world (sometimes at 6 a.m. or 7 p.m.), and (c ) traveled a lot themselves. They chatted lightly about all their trips to Hawaii, Greece, Singapore, England, India, Italy, you name it. And they never seemed to be bored or sick of their jobs.

The_Inquisitor's avatar

@Jeruba, that sounds really fun!... I would SOOO get that job, but i’m afraid it’d be hard to get into a good corporation, so i guess i may just stick to human resources. Nice to know about it though. I appreciate your comment. =D

Jeruba's avatar

One of their new hires had worked for some years for Marriott Corporation and brought a lot of hotel knowledge to the group. I think one of their crew also came in through HR. Once you’re in with a big company, you may find a chance to move around, using some personal contacts to find out which jobs you really want. HR training seems like it would be a good start.

OpryLeigh's avatar

My mum was a travel agent for years and loved it. Unfortunately, as @drdoombot said so many people are finding flights and holidays online that it’s not the job it used to be (according to my mother!). She left the industry after about ten years because she felt that, with the internet being more convenient, the need for physical travel agents would start to disappear.

Aethelwine's avatar

I worked as a travel agent for a few years in the late 90s. My first job was for corporate travel for Caterpillar employees. I really enjoyed my time with this company. Unfortunately it didn’t last long because Caterpillar decided to go with a national chain for all of their travel and our company ended up closing. I then went on to a mom and pop travel agency that catered to travelers going to Vegas, Cancun and cruises. This agency did not provide health insurance like the corporate travel agency, but it did provide many opportunities for some last minutes deals to the Caribbean and other vacation destinations.

I think the hardest part for any travel agent is having to deal with travelers that are not happy with their trip. They like to blame the agent for everything that goes wrong. They could get a cold during their trip and it would still be the agent’s fault.

When I left the profession I was making close to $8 an hour. Remember that this was 10 years ago and I only worked a year at the last agency that I worked for. A colleague of mine was making close to $12 an hour and she had been there for 5 years.

It is a dying profession, but as @Jeruba pointed out corporations still need their employees to travel and you will get better benefits than you would at an independent agency.

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