Agent to Agent: Should I Join a Larger Travel Company?

Dear Tammy: I’m not sure if I’m able to keep in business until COVID-19 is…

Dear Tammy: I’m not sure if I’m able to keep in business until COVID-19 is over. I’m thinking of joining a larger travel company and wondering if you think this is a wise move?

Tammy: I absolutely think it’s a wise move! At times like these, it’s necessary for everyone who works within the travel industry to make decisions that work for them. Host agencies were created with a goal of connecting with home-based travel agents, so this is definitely an option. Travel agents who choose to take this route must enter into an independent contractor agreement.

I think travel agents who find themselves in a position in which they’re not sure what they’re going to do should thoroughly research their options. This ensures agents are able to make the right decisions for them. My advice for agents who decide to join a larger travel company is to make sure that you make the right choice.

This means making sure that they don’t take more than what you’re making now! Since the point of doing this is to make more money, as well as to be with a good group of people, agents need to make sure that they choose to work for a larger travel company that’s a match for them. Travel agents should always know what their commissions are when working independently, as well as for an agency.

Many agents found themselves in this position during 9/11. Unfortunately, what also happened at this time was that a lot of host agencies were starting to take advantage of agents by doing things like charging ridiculous fees. They also didn’t fully support all agents, which means they weren’t really helping the travel industry.

I recommend calling some of the larger agencies, as that’s how I actually started my travel business – Elite Travel. I joined forces with another agency called Bay Travel (Tampa) and was happy to have somewhere to work. Even though I was pretty much my own boss, I was still working for a bigger agency. So it just makes sense to work with a larger agency when necessary, as it could potentially lead to agents starting their own travel agency, too!

Either way, it was the right move for me, and it was actually before 9/11. I can assure you that if travel agents approach me now with this current situation, I will be very eager to talk to them and discuss all the options that would benefit both of us. Just whatever you do, make the right choice and take your time doing so.