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What advantages do Travel Agents get from having GDS subscriptions w/o commissions?

What advantages do Travel Agents get from having GDS subscriptions w/o commissions?

Old Mar 11, 2024, 10:02 am
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Geneva
Programs: Star Alliance, SkyTeam
Posts: 38
What advantages do Travel Agents get from having GDS subscriptions w/o commissions?

I have a question about commissions.

To travel agents based in Europe, as far as I know most airlines do not pay any commission. But it seems to me that this is not the case for TAs based in Asia, Africa, Australia and probably South America.I am asking this because I just got my IATA accreditation and my business is mostly flight consulting. But I do this for clients based worldwide. However, because I am based in Switzerland, I can't get a commission for say someone flying out of India or Africa or Australia (all places where local agents are paid commissions). And probably the same is true for a TA based in India. He won't get commissions on a flight out of, say, Germany. Right? (but unlike me at least he earns commissions on flights originating India) So basically it all depends where you are based.

This is why most travel agents where I am from have to add a ticketing fee to their customers, and if they sell flight only then their only revenue will be that fee.So, in the end, if I don't get any commission from airlines, what is my benefit in using a GDS ?

I can think of these:
1) complex itineraries (although many can be done with websites such as expedia.com
2) some flexibility as a travel agent can book and hold for a certain amount of time prior to ticketing
3) a better relationship with an airline in case of problems (as opposed to an individual customer).
4) any other ideas?

My second question is: how can you benefit from commissions for flights from anywhere to anywhere, regardless of your location? It seems impossible to me, unless one has a IATA Global accreditation with presence in several continents/countries.

Related to this is also the question of currency exchange. Because it seems that on a GDS my tickets will be billed in the country where I have my IATA and GDS registration. So say I book a ticket from Australia to Spain, I will get a price in CHF and not in AUD, and this is not to the client's advantage. Or could I for instance, create a company in the US, get a GDS in the US but use my Swiss IATA license?

So basically my whole point is that my customers are based everywhere, and I want to be an international travel agent benefitting from commissions paid as if I was a local agent in those countries where commissions are still paid - plus ideally paying in local currency.

Up to now what I do most of the time is buying tickets as if I was an ordinary passenger, with their credit card.

Can you convince me of the advantages that a GDS subscription will bring me ? (Amadeus - which I would tend towards, is about 120 USD a month).

Any good feedback on the above points would be appreciated!

Last edited by kiribati; Mar 11, 2024 at 10:57 am
kiribati is offline  
Old Mar 20, 2024, 12:27 pm
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 646
Ama is not 120$, its 30$
GDS will allow you so much more than just the OTAs, look, book, reserve, issue, void & refund.
You can also rebook pax involuntarily in case of IRROP, no need to call stupid hotlines and be stuck for hours.

re com:
You don't get com from the airlines but the GDS, usually you get 1 / segment.
You get more if you sell a lot.
If you sell enough you'll get access to special rates, called NET / NEG fares. But if you're a beginner I'd rather go through a consolidator who already has access to all these NEG/NET fares and pay them a few $ for each ticket issued and no monthly subscription fee.
You also want to make sure that you chose a consolidator with access to different POS, because like in your example, if you are selling a flight from India, someone with POS India will have better availability in booking classes than you from Switzerland.
If you sell tickets ex U.S., a POS in the U.S. will have MUCH better availability than a POS in Europe.
Starting Q3 2024 many airlines won't be accessible in GDS anymore anways due to NDC, so unless you wish to develop your own NDC access with each airline individually, I'd also recommend to go through a consolidator.
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