I would guess English would be a start if you are working in the US! Proper verb usage, sentence construction, syntax, punctuation would all be important in working as a travel agent. Then you would have to be a numbers type of person to look through huge lists of itineraries, airline schedules etc.
Sounds kind of like a thankless job to me and I am not the least interested in become one. I do appreciate my travel agent though.
On the contrary! My clients thank me almost daily. I've been a travel agent for a long time, and I love it. Before that, I've been a medical secretary and a psychiatric social worker. For me, nothing beats researching and talking about cruising all day. And my clients come back happy, enthusiastic and ready to book again. Nothing thankless about that!
My completely un-educated guess, which is based on no experience whatsoever haha, is that you probably get the two extremes when it comes to feedback.
People are very excited to vacation, and probably feel a close bond to their TA when it goes well - and that leads to plenty of heart felt "thank you's". On the other hand, when something goes wrong with a vacation, I can see people getting very annoyed, very quickly. I'd be surprised if most TA didn't have at least one story about a customer going absolutely nuts on them.
Also, Sandy, I have a question. Please forgive and ingnore me if this is rude.
Does the salary of an average TA allow them to provide for their family and afford the occasional luxury, i.e. a cruise? Or is it more of a "side job" that provides some extra cash and is done because it is enjoyable?
I really have no idea - I wouldn't be any more shocked if you told me there is a ton of money to be made as a TA, than if you told me the me you do it for fun and it provides some pocket money - or anything in between.
Mike, certainly there are travel agents who make enough money to own a home with their spouse and kids, own a car or two, etc. Travel agent salaries are not high, but like any sales job, there are ways to work hard and make more money. Depending on where in the country you live, you could do fairly well.
There was a study that came out about 10 years ago, regarding travel agent salaries. At that time, the average agent who had been in the business for 10 years was making around $35-40K. I haven't seen any "official" figures since then. Obviously, that money goes a lot further in some parts of the country than in others.
I work full time as a travel agent, but I am part of a two-income family. I love what I do and continue to do it, despite the possibility of making more money, but not being as happy, in another type of work.
On the other hand, when something goes wrong with a vacation, I can see people getting very annoyed, very quickly. I'd be surprised if most TA didn't have at least one story about a customer going absolutely nuts on them.
I'm sure every travel agent, and everyone in every profession out there, has stories like that. However, I find that when I do my job well, which I do to the best of my ability every day, the vast majority of people come back happy. I own a "cruise only" agency, so I'm just dealing with cruisers, and cruising in general has a very high satisfaction rate.