Frequently, people that work as travel agents encounter the question, “Do you get to travel all over the world for free?” Sometimes the people asking the question are interested in working as business travel consultants themselves, or they may just wonder how travel agencies make money. Here is what you need to know about travel agents and their perks:
Not Many Freebies
In truth, most of the time, travel agents don’t get free travel although they sometimes get discounts or a chance to keep the commission they would get on their own travel plans. An agent might have the opportunity to travel at a discount if:
- Convention properties give them a cheaper trip to let them learn about their property on a working vacation.
- They learn about last-minute trips that haven’t been filled and are being offered at low prices to agents.
How Travel Agents Make Money
In the past, most travel agents made the most money off of airline commissions, but changes in booking travel have reduced that stream of income. Now business travel consultants get revenue through service fees and commissions. Some of these fees are paid by businesses, and others are paid by the vendors themselves.
How Travel Agents Really Travel the World
Most of the time, when travel agents take trips, they pay the same way that you do for their personal travel, out of their own pockets, although they may be able to book their own travel and earn a commission. Occasionally, if they are lucky, they could get a trip as a door prize at a convention, just the same as you might at your business convention.
Do Travel Agent Commissions Add to Business Travel Cost?
Not in the long run. Often the service fees or commissions might be something rolled into the cost of the trip no matter who makes the arrangements. However, when you work with a travel agent, you have someone who knows your needs and is personally interested in making sure your business travelers are safe and have a well-planned trip.
Are Corporate Travel Consultants Worth Paying For?
While your business may pay for the travel planning, that service fee will more than be made up by:
- Saving employee time to book trips.
- Better travel arrangements and often better travel itineraries that save time and money.
- Upgrades available only to agents.
- Protection of having your business travelers able to have access to travel help 24/7.
Why Travel Agents Enjoy Their Job
If there isn’t free travel, what makes people enjoy being a travel agent? Most travel consultants are people-oriented and love organizing trips and helping other people. They find their job fun and love it when a trip is more successful than the business traveler expected. So if your corporate travel agent planned a particularly successful trip, be sure to tell them!