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Old May 19, 03, 11:10 am   #1
CMW
 
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Has anyone become a travel agent to get discounts?

I was talking to a friend of mine recently who owns his own business and has started traveling more. He wanted to surprise his wife with a stay in a very expensive hotel. He couldn't get any decent rates so someone recommended he become a travel agent.

He enrolled on-line at www.inteletravel.com He was able to get a really great rate at the hotel at the Travel Agent rate.

I guess I always thought this was too expensive to be worthwhile on an individual level or you actually had to book a minimum amount of travel as an agent in order to do this.

Does anyone know about this agency or other on-line travel agencies? I am considering enrolling but was wondering if anyone else had experinces that they would be willing to share.

Thanks.

[This message has been edited by CMW (edited 05-19-2003).]
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Old May 20, 03, 7:19 am   #2
 
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About 8 years ago I saw a small ad in the back of a national newpaper that said for 20, become your own travel agent. What I got was a photocopied booklet detailing how to book flights through consolidators and how to get the best rates. Some sneaky stuff about ATOL and ABTA numbers too. Never really followed it up as the web took over with great discounts online. This, however, seems to be declining as more companies go online and the advantage is going.
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Old May 21, 03, 8:31 pm   #3
 
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Yes, I have done some research and did come up with one company 3 years ago that will share commissions with you.
They share their IATA number with you and when you book online or by phone you enter or give the iata code and then at the end of the month send a list of the bookings you have made for yourself or your friends you will receive half the commissions by check. It really does work. There are many out there but I only know first hand that one company based in Florida really does work.
You will need to give them a W-4 because they will be sending a 1099 of earnings.
www.tpitravel.com is the site; if you need any further info how that company works just send me a note.
The yearly fee is 175.00 on their web site.
But if purchased in groups of 10 or more memberships the price drops to $28.00 per membership. Plus a shipping charge of $5.00 per membership and no monthly fee after that.
If you want any outside information just send me a note.


BTW I have received such great tips from flyertalk that I wanted to share a little way to make some of the traveling expenses right back!



[This message has been edited by lisabittner (edited 05-21-2003).]
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Old Jul 5, 03, 6:37 pm   #4
 
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I have been an independent travel agent with Global Travel International for over 5 years. Not only have I saved thousands of dollars each year in hotel and car rental costs, but have been upgraded to some fabulous hotel rooms.
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Old Jun 3, 05, 9:28 pm   #5
 
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InteleTravel International

Quote:
Originally Posted by CMW
I was talking to a friend of mine recently who owns his own business and has started traveling more. He wanted to surprise his wife with a stay in a very expensive hotel. He couldn't get any decent rates so someone recommended he become a travel agent.

He enrolled on-line at www.inteletravelinternational.com He was able to get a really great rate at the hotel at the Travel Agent rate.

I guess I always thought this was too expensive to be worthwhile on an individual level or you actually had to book a minimum amount of travel as an agent in order to do this.

Does anyone know about this agency or other on-line travel agencies? I am considering enrolling but was wondering if anyone else had experinces that they would be willing to share.

Thanks.

[This message has been edited by CMW (edited 05-19-2003).]
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Old Jun 3, 05, 9:32 pm   #6
 
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InteleTravel International

Become an Independent Travel Agent for $69 enrollment fee and $7.95 / month. Just go to http://www.inteletravelinternational.com
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Old Jun 3, 05, 9:42 pm   #7
 
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My mother

My mother ran a travel agency for over 20 years just for that purpose. She did many millions in ticket sales a year, at one point had a staff of about 20. To get to the rich stuff, she had to become IATA certified and get a IATA number, (which implied a certain sales amount in the multiple millions USD). I don't think she ever made any serious money at it after all expenses, but she got many, many perks. Free incentive trips, walk-in upgrades to F, deep discount tickets for herself and my father (and sometimes her family), great hotel rooms. When you throw that in, it was an incredible deal. And it kept her busy and out of trouble.

As airlines began getting stingier with commissions, and the onslaught of DIY travel and the internet, the losses piled up, with a severe curtailment of benefits, so she eventually threw in the towel. But it was a good run.
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Old Jun 3, 05, 9:43 pm   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InteleTravel
Become an Independent Travel Agent for $69 enrollment fee and $7.95 / month. Just go to http://www.inteletravelinternational.com
Does anyone know if this is a reputable company? Also is this worth the $?
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Old Jun 4, 05, 10:25 am   #9
 
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I agree this can be a good deal. However, to use it just to get discounts can be sketchy.

I own a business and actually am affliated with TPI (mentioned in an above post). However, I also spent a short time as a travel agent so I know the ends and outs of using the affiliation.

First of all, if you use it correctly, you can not only get great hotel rates, but airfare, Eurail and auto discounts as well.

For instance, when you become an agent, you are able to use consolidators to buy your tickets. This can come in handy as it will allow you to obtain tickets overseas (no domestic) at low rates. The tickets you buy from consolidators online are marked up, having an IATA number allows you to buy a ticket at the much lower rate.

For example, if you want to go to London from Seattle, you might get a quote online or from published air of $750. A consolidator will sell that ticket to the travel agent for about $500. The savings can be quite substantial.
I do alot of travel overseas and run a business where getting tickets for my clients at a reduced rate matter. I also buy tickets for others and add a commission. I can make $100-$200 off of every ticket.

Once you have been with an agency for a year (sometimes less than a year) you are able to recieve travel agent discounts with major airlines like BMI, British Air, SAS and Virgin. I think last year Virgin offered a travel agent discount in economy for $199. They also have discounts for PE and UC. All of the airlines I mentioned except SAS require an IATAN card. Those are hard to get. However, when you hook with with a good agency, you will be issued a temp card after you have been with them for 6 months. The card is good for 6 months. The idea is to be a real agent. To truly sell and to truly try to make money. Some airlines (domestic ones as well) will allow you to travel with a CLIA card. The CLIA card does not have the commission restrictions that the IATAN card has. It is hard to keep an IATAN card if you are not truly trying to make money. You must make $5000 in comission to keep it.
It's hard.

As far as hotels, some hotels do requrie to see some sort of travel agent ID. The Starwood chain almost always asks to see my card. They are times when it is not asked for and there are times when they make a copy of it.
When I travel overseas, they never ask for it. I consistanly get a 50 Pound rate at several 4-star properties in London. When I travel next week, I have a 40 Euro rate in Budapest at the Ramada.

I guess what I am saying is that if you use this perk to its fullest, you can make some money as well as save some money. But make sure you have a great host agency. One that is really a travel agency and not a smaller one just looking to make money off of you.
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Old Jun 4, 05, 4:04 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by traveladdie
I guess what I am saying is that if you use this perk to its fullest, you can make some money as well as save some money. But make sure you have a great host agency. One that is really a travel agency and not a smaller one just looking to make money off of you.
Any recommendations?
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Old Jun 4, 05, 7:02 pm   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzanneaustin
Any recommendations?
www.tpionline.com

They are my host agency. I was with a smaller one before them and it was run by one person. It felt less professional. TPI helps you get your CLIA card as well as your temp IATAN card. They also help you market and are into educating you if you want to do more of the business side of things. You also are listed on the IATA list. You need that in order to get some of the airline specials (SAS for one). If you look elsewhere or do a google search for other agencies, make sure to ask if they will do this for you as well.

Good luck!
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Old Jun 4, 05, 9:22 pm   #12
 
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Thanks for the help!
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Old Jun 5, 05, 11:22 am   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisabittner
The yearly fee is 175.00 on their web site. But if purchased in groups of 10 or more memberships the price drops to $28.00 per membership. Plus a shipping charge of $5.00 per membership and no monthly fee after that.
So I just need 'nine new friends' now?
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Old Jun 5, 05, 12:38 pm   #14
 
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My mistake

The agency I am with is Travel Planners International. It is NOT the same agency as the one listed an earlier post. That agency has a similar website but is not the same agency. Actually that one seems like a tad bit fishy.
10 people to join?

Has anyone used this one?
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Old Jun 5, 05, 5:06 pm   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travmakar
Does anyone know if this is a reputable company? Also is this worth the $?
Let's put it this way... The poster is obviously recommending their own business here. and that's a violation of FT's TOS.

Judge for yourself.
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