Written By: Stephanie Knight, Copywriter – Sky Bird Travel & Tours
Let’s face it: the travel industry is hurting. Every agent out there has had to look at their business and figure out how to adapt to this unpredictable, pandemic-filled world we live in. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Working with an airline consolidator might be just the thing that keeps you afloat. Not only will you be able to make higher, better commissions, consolidators will provide you with help in a plethora of other ways.
What do airline consolidators do?
Consolidators have access to net fares that aren’t available to the public, thanks to their partnerships with airlines. Travel agents obtain these low fares through a consolidator at a discounted price—sometimes 10 – 30% off published fares! The extra savings give agents the opportunity to earn more commission. In addition, consolidators provide expertise and assistance you won’t find elsewhere in the industry.
1. Airline consolidators are global experts
With the ongoing pandemic, travelers have changing priorities. They may not want to visit a crowded city center and instead opt for a rustic country getaway. What happens when they desire to visit a place you’re unfamiliar with? Of course you’ll take the business but how are you going to provide them with a memorable trip when you don’t know the first thing about that region? In situations like these, it’s best to turn to an airline consolidator for the best airline rates and itinerary planning. They will serve as your specialist and guide. And some airline consolidators, like Sky Bird Travel & Tours, even have access to discounted fares for domestic destinations.
2. Airline consolidators have excellent customer service
Travel plans change all the time – especially when there’s a global pandemic going on! When you need to smooth over a wrinkle in the itinerary, you want an airline consolidator in your corner. Consolidators invest in user-friendly booking systems and call centers to provide support. No matter what time of day or night, you can rest assured your airline consolidator has your back. Clients have no idea what goes on behind the scenes – all they’ll remember is that you were able to solve the problem quickly and efficiently, ensuring repeat business in the future.
3. Airline consolidators will expand your airline options
Every travel agent has a collection of their preferred airlines. But what if an airline has reduced service because of the pandemic? Instead of pulling your hair out trying to figure out alternate routes, just call your airline consolidator. Consolidators already know the ins and outs of the travel industry and will provide you with insight from an agent’s perspective so you can make an informed decision that best suits your client’s needs and secure a good commission for yourself.
4. Airlines consolidators help you upsell
It’s always nice to secure a premium economy, business class, or first class ticket. Your clients are sure to have a more enjoyable experience and you will receive a higher commission than you would on basic economy. However, it can be difficult to convince the customer to upgrade their flight. When you want to sell the front of the plane, always contact your airline consolidator. Their low net fares make the upsell more palatable for the client. Consolidators with a global reach allow travel agents to earn commission on tickets across all cabins: first, business, premium economy, and economy. Make sure to do your research and look for a company like Sky Bird Travel & Tours that covers all regions of the globe. Plus, they can secure added features to the trip like hotels, rental cars, and insurance. Now more than ever, travelers are seeing the benefit of adding insurance to project their vacations. An airline consolidator can provide you with all those things so your client doesn’t go looking on their own and you lose the commission in the process.
5. Airline consolidators manage large groups
As the travel industry rebounds, people will be traveling in whole families to make up for missing birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and family vacations. This means dealing with the logistics of large groups. If a client approaches you with a group, it’s easy to stress about all the work that goes into planning for so many people and lose focus on the dollar signs. What you may not realize is how many pitfalls come with booking groups of such a large size. For instance, if you don’t issue your own airline tickets, you may be slapped with additional fees by the airlines. This could be as much as $35 per ticket. Catering to religious and dietary needs can be challenging. And then there’s the added COVID-19 safety procedures.
When approached with a large group, your first instincts should be to call your consolidator. They often have departments specially trained for booking groups. These groups may include things like religious pilgrimages, athletes traveling for competitions, students studying abroad, humanitarian groups, and cruises. A trusted consolidator with years of experience knows how to get the best price for your customer and make the whole experience pleasant for everyone involved.
Working with an airline consolidator is an easy way to increase your commissions and decrease the stress for you and your customers. Low net fares allow you to markup higher commissions while still getting clients a deal. Consolidator fares also make it easier to upsell clients on premium classes. Should you be met with a large group or last minute changes, specialized group agents at a consolidator will help you smooth things over. Before you book your next airline ticket, be sure to consult with an airline consolidator!