Although the trend in the last decade or so has been to book travel online, many people still call a toll free number to book their airfare, hotel or cruise ship, and reservations can be a great career for anyone interested in travel. Around 60 percent of all reservations jobs are in the airline industry, and the largest US airlines employ thousands of people simply to answer the phone. The biggest appeal of this type of work is the travel benefits, although the reservation agent salary is also a big plus for many people.Salaries can vary widely, and if you are just starting out in the industry, you will of course earn a lot less than a 30 year veteran. Reservations is very much a job where you can earn good money the longer you stay, and many employees look upon it as a stepping stone to another travel related job. In addition to full time positions, it is also possible to work part time as a reservations agent, and s fairly recent trend has been to hire agents who work from home. These positions are often part time, and don’t include any benefits, a move by the industry intended to save money. Many hotels and airlines have their reservations centers or call centers in just a few areas of the country, requiring employees to live in that specific area, and many airline reservations jobs are based in Texas, Florida and California. Despite cutbacks across the industry, working in reservations is still fairly well paid, and many airlines, hotel chains and cruise lines have few formal requirements other than a college diploma.
Actual salaries for reservations employees can vary widely, based on the company, the specific job responsibilities and the area of the country the job is based in. Starting salaries are generally around $9 an hour, or about $20,200 per year, while the highest paid reservations employees can expect to earn around $23 per hour, or around $47,000 per year. The average salary is somewhere around $32,000, and the highest salaries are in the airline industry. Some companies offer a base salary along with a commission on bookings or sales, and some companies impose requirements on their agents, such as a certain number of bookings per week, or per month. These statistics are often carefully measured and salary increases are often based on performance; the pressure to produce certain numbers or sales can make the job stressful.
In addition to the salary, many reservations agents are attracted to the industry by the prospect of free travel, and this can include stand by plane tickets, discounted hotel rooms and more. Many employees consider the perks of the job to be just as valuable as the salary, and if you can fly your family to the Caribbean for next to nothing, it’s hard to argue with that. For anyone who loves to travel and enjoys working with people in an often fast paced environment, a job in reservations may be the perfect solution.