Reservation Agent Job Description
Hotels, airlines, car rental facilities, resorts and travel agencies all employ Reservation Agents. Their job is to assist customers with the planning and booking aspect of their vacation or stay. They may support customers in person, on the phone, online or a combination of these. They answer customers’ questions, make travel suggestions and book rooms and tickets.
Although Reservation Agents report to a supervisor, their work is performed with minimal supervision. Reservation Agents must be comfortable working independently. Due to the rise in online and self-booking options, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a decrease in job growth by 12 percent through 2024, resulting in a job loss for this sector of about 8,700.
Reservation Agent Duties and Responsibilities
The type of company a Reservation Agent works for will greatly determine their duties and responsibilities. There are, however, several common primary duties nearly all Reservation Agents can expect to perform. A review of current job listings identified the following main responsibilities.
The main duty of a Reservation Agent is to assist customers with planning and booking reservations. This can mean booking a hotel room, a car rental, airplane tickets, a cruise package or tickets to a show. They may also help plan travel itineraries by suggesting local tourist attractions and places of interest. They then process payments and send the details and confirmation to the guest. When issues arise with reservations, the Reservation Agent is often contacted to sort out the issues.
Provide Customer Service
Reservation Agents must be very knowledgeable on the services they are selling or promoting. Customers will often have questions throughout the booking process and the Reservation Agent is expected to answer them. If the question is not something the Reservation Agent knows or has immediate access to, it is their responsibility to obtain the answer and get back to the customer.
Sell Services and Product
Selling services and products are also a key duty of Reservation Agents. They are often encouraged to upsell by offering their clients additional services or special packages. Hotels and cruises sell package deals; car rental facilities sell additional insurance packages and car upgrades; and airlines sell seats with additional legroom and services, just to name a few. Some jobs offer their Reservation Agents bonuses or perks for reaching monthly or quarterly goals, while others may place a minimum requirement for their Reservation Agents to meet.
Reservation Agent Skills
Reservation Agents must have impeccable customer service skills and be excellent communicators. They should also be detail-orientated and enjoy assisting others. In addition to these traits, employers look for applicants with the following skills.
Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Reservation Agents with these core skills. If you want to work as a Reservation Agent, focus on the following.
- Basic computer proficiency
- Data entry experience
- Working knowledge of office equipment, such as copiers, fax machines, and scanners
Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your repertoire of skills and broaden your career options.
- Certified Travel Associate (CTA) or Certified Travel Counselor (CTC)
- Call center experience
- Experience in sales
- Fluency in two or more languages
Reservation Agent Resources
There are more resources available on the Web for those interested in becoming a Reservation Agent. We scoured the internet and found these links full of learning opportunities and the latest industry news.
On the Web
The Travel Institute – Since 1964, The Travel Institute has been providing education and certifications to travel professionals. They offer national standard certifications that are recognized by the leaders in the industry.
AAA’s Travel Agent Training Center – AAA offers an online program for travel agent certification that can take as little as 5 weeks to complete or as long as 5 months depending on the amount of time you can devout to it.
Reservation Agent Books
Reservation Agent (Passbook) – This book is geared towards preparing readers for Reservation Agent certification exams. Complete with useful examples and practice exams it is the perfect resource for those studying for Reservation Agent certifications.
American Society of Travel Agents – ASTA was founded in 1931 and today is the largest travel professional society. This trade association works to enhance the industry’s professional standing by ensuring members are educated and knowledgeable about the latest trends and best-practices.
Cruise Lines International Association – Founded in 1971, CLIA advocates for the education and promotion of the cruise industry and its workers. Reservation Agents working for a cruise line would benefit from the resources and knowledge of this organization.
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