Written By: Stephanie Knight, Copywriter – Sky Bird Travel & Tours
Time is money, as the old saying goes. If you’re hung up on trip planning details, or simply unsatisfied with your current commissions, there’s an easy and free way to ramp up your earnings: consider working with an airline consolidator. Not only will you be able to make higher, better commissions, consolidators will provide you with help in a plethora of other ways.
What airline consolidators do
Consolidators have access to net fares that aren’t available to the public, thanks to their partnerships with numerous airlines. Travel agents can 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
The number one rule of selling anything is never turn down a sale. That being said, what are you to do when a customer approaches you with a trip idea to 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 best airline rates and itinerary planning. They will serve as your specialist and guide.
2. Airline consolidators have excellent customer service
When you need to make a last minute change or 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 on the retail side. 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. You’ve developed a level of comfort with their service and know you can rely on them. But what if a new airline has a better airfare rate? To go about working with them, you might read online reviews and weigh the options. Instead of debating, just call your airline consolidator. They’ve likely issued thousands of tickets on that airline and have front-seat reviews of their service. 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, even to regular economy. 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.
5. Airline consolidators manage large groups
An airline group is 10 or more people traveling together. 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.
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 mark up 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!