Reservation sales agents are the people you consult to help you make travel plans. They suggest routes to take, describe ideal hotel accommodations, provide room rates, and reserve dining, sleeping and other vacation-related arrangements. They're typically employed by airlines and hotel chains to assist their customers, often over the phone. To be successful, agents must have a clear speaking voice and demonstrate strong interpersonal, analytical and organization skills.
Eligibility and Proficiency
To attain a job as a reservation sales agent, you typically must be at least 18 years old and have at least a high school diploma or the equivalent. Employers may prefer candidates who have experience working with the public. Agents spend the majority of their workdays speaking with customers and working on computers. They must excel in customer service, communication and organization. Some employers may require employees to type a minimum amount of words per minute, such as 20.
Details, Details, Details
Reservation sales agents gauge each customer's preferences and necessities for a trip, then field inquiries regarding cost, times and legalities. They may help customers choose the best travel destinations; plan their itineraries; or select tour, event or activity tickets or packages. Agents are ultimately responsible for confirming reservations. They inform customers of important details of their trip, such as which transportation connections to take and what the visa or medical requirements are.
Reservation sales agents gather and issue all the documents required for a customer's trip, such as travel insurance policies, tickets and itineraries. They keep in contact with customers and alert them of any trip changes. Agents perform additional duties depending on their employer. For example, those working for airlines maintain and track seat reservations through agency software; check baggage; and issue tickets. Agents may also be responsible for obtaining updated advertising brochures from resorts, hotels and travel operators.
Opportunity and Income
Reservation sales agents may earn promotions to shift leader roles or supervisory positions. ONet groups reservation sales agents under the broader category of reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks, who earned a median annual wage of $33,990, as of 2013. It expects a decline in the number of jobs between 2012 and 2022.
- Delta: Reservation Sales & Services Representative
- Junior Achievement Student Center: Reservation and Transportation Ticket Agents
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: What Information Clerks Do
- O*Net OnLine: Details Report for Reservation and Transportation Ticket Agents and Travel Clerks
- State of California Employment Development Department: Receptionists and Information Clerks in Ventura County
- Photo Credit BerryHappy/iStock/Getty Images
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