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MarinerBoy

TA Compensation (Cruise Industry Standards)

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I have a question about Travel Agents and how they get paid for booking cruises.

My understanding is that there is no former training or education required, if you happen to get hired for a booking line such as Avoya Travel or vactogo etc you get paid commission on every cruise you book.

 

 

 

Say on average in your first month you book a cruise a day for your 8 hours in the office for 2 people ($3000) x 5% commission you earn $150 a day.

 

 

Now if you keep doing this, over the months you will accumulate clients and some clients will book suites, some will travel with family etc, so realistically after your first year selling cruises you can easily do $10,000 worth of cruises a day ($500 commission), so you are looking at $150,000 in easy money just being a TA.

 

 

You just have to take calls, and book cruises, can they really make $150k a year for no education, nothing?

 

 

Imagine after a few years you can build your Rolodex of repeat clients you can basically book cruises non stop every day and just let the money roll in. Unlike people who cap out at certain salaries no matter how experienced they get "teachers, police, accountants etc" these Travel Agents have unlimited earning potential which guarantees them increases every year with no extra work education qualifications or certifications needed they just stack clients and get paid more and more each year.

 

Whats the catch?

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I have a question about Travel Agents and how they get paid for booking cruises.

My understanding is that there is no former training or education required, if you happen to get hired for a booking line such as Avoya Travel or vactogo etc you get paid commission on every cruise you book.

 

 

 

Say on average in your first month you book a cruise a day for your 8 hours in the office for 2 people ($3000) x 5% commission you earn $150 a day.

 

 

Now if you keep doing this, over the months you will accumulate clients and some clients will book suites, some will travel with family etc, so realistically after your first year selling cruises you can easily do $10,000 worth of cruises a day ($500 commission), so you are looking at $150,000 in easy money just being a TA.

 

 

You just have to take calls, and book cruises, can they really make $150k a year for no education, nothing?

 

 

Imagine after a few years you can build your Rolodex of repeat clients you can basically book cruises non stop every day and just let the money roll in. Unlike people who cap out at certain salaries no matter how experienced they get "teachers, police, accountants etc" these Travel Agents have unlimited earning potential which guarantees them increases every year with no extra work education qualifications or certifications needed they just stack clients and get paid more and more each year.

 

Whats the catch?

 

In Canada most TA's have to go thru an accreditation process with each cruiseline they want to sell.

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I have a question about Travel Agents and how they get paid for booking cruises.

My understanding is that there is no former training or education required, if you happen to get hired for a booking line such as Avoya Travel or vactogo etc you get paid commission on every cruise you book.

 

 

 

Say on average in your first month you book a cruise a day for your 8 hours in the office for 2 people ($3000) x 5% commission you earn $150 a day.

 

 

Now if you keep doing this, over the months you will accumulate clients and some clients will book suites, some will travel with family etc, so realistically after your first year selling cruises you can easily do $10,000 worth of cruises a day ($500 commission), so you are looking at $150,000 in easy money just being a TA.

 

 

You just have to take calls, and book cruises, can they really make $150k a year for no education, nothing?

 

 

Imagine after a few years you can build your Rolodex of repeat clients you can basically book cruises non stop every day and just let the money roll in. Unlike people who cap out at certain salaries no matter how experienced they get "teachers, police, accountants etc" these Travel Agents have unlimited earning potential which guarantees them increases every year with no extra work education qualifications or certifications needed they just stack clients and get paid more and more each year.

 

Whats the catch?

 

They have to do a good job in an industry that is in decline - since more and more people book direct because it is easy. And while you may or may not need credentials, you certainly need to have expertise - where would you get that from? And then there is the pesky matter of overhead. Your 'analysis' is paper thin and neither well thought out nor remotely related to reality.

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do it part time as online only and see what happened

 

 

I assume not so much.....

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Marineboy, best do some basic research on the understanding of how much of the cruise price is commissionable. It is not the 100% that you had in your formula. It varies by cruiseline.

 

And do really think someone can walk in off of the street and start answering phones and taking cruise orders? In addition to product knowledge there is also the learning of the various booking systems.

 

Do you really believe that you dial the phone and then "the magic happens", voila all done, now let's collect that money!

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Someone has way too much time on their hands....but I do realize there are just some people that require constant attention.

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Sorry Marineboy, but nobody here takes you serious anymore :). But I will bite on your issue which is actually a good question. Some cruise agencies do work with "outside" agents who can work out of their home. This used to be a lot more common because the outside agents would then get a Business Card and use it (and their agency) as a way to qualify for very low cost, or free, "fam" cruises offered by cruise lines to travel/cruise agents. But the cruise lines eventually got wise to the scam and now only offer "fam" cruises to real agents who sell a certain volume of bookings.

 

These days, the legit accredited Cruise/Travel agencies no longer hire or work with these non-professional untrained agents. But there is a way for you, Marineboy :), Simply go to the Cruise Line International Association and follow their instructions on how to become a Master Cruise Counselor (MCC). If you can achieve that level of competency then perhaps you can convince a decent Cruise Agency to give you an outside job as an agent. Here is the link to the information:

https://www.cruising.org/travel-agent/professional-development/certification/mcc

 

Of course, after reading a few of your posts we assume you would expect to teach the course :).

 

Hank

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They have to do a good job in an industry that is in decline - since more and more people book direct because it is easy. And while you may or may not need credentials, you certainly need to have expertise - where would you get that from? And then there is the pesky matter of overhead. Your 'analysis' is paper thin and neither well thought out nor remotely related to reality.
You kidding right? No one books direct because they would be losing out on free OBC. Only the big TA's can offer you OBC on top of whatever the actual cruise line is offering on their site, it never ever makes sense to go outside of a TA. Furthermore, even to add to that point a lot of the travel agencies buy in BULK and sell their cabins at a discount rate, negotiating far better deals than you can buying direct from the cruise line.

 

Common sense my friend.

 

 

And lastly, I dont have a regular TA I call around who ever gives me the best OC. And you know what? I got a quote on the cruise I needed within 2 minutes of my call, it is really easy for the TA on the other line to quote me. After that it is YES or NO, and that is how easy it is. 0 expertise required. The customer comes to them with a request, the date, the ship, all they have to do is plug it in and spit out their best price. These guys get prob dozens of calls a day and can close 50-80% of them depending on how much OBC they give out.

 

 

All you have to do is take phone calls all day and collect commission. Yes not all the cruise fare is commissionable, we know that. But please do the math, a few bookings a day of $1000 USD per person ( say total $8,000 a day) that works out to 10-15% commission easy $800-$1000 on regular day. On a bad day say you did $4000 USD that is still $400-$500 per day. Incredible for just answering phone calls and booking people in.

 

You just refuse to believe how these TA's are making money and its a hidden industry away from public eyes but I am here to uncover and debunk the truth so you all know how much these guys are making. How are you not outraged by some of the dollars these guys are cashing in?

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Lets stick a fork in this one also. Wrong forum. Mods should intervene.

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You kidding right? No one books direct because they would be losing out on free OBC.

Have no idea why I am even wasting my time, but whatrever.

"No one books direct". How did you come to this conclusion? If this were true there would be no need for booking agents at the various cruise lines nor would they need to have the ability to book a reservation on their web site.

The traditional TA (brick and mortar, or, individuals not associated with the big online agencies) is a dying breed. More and more folks are booking direct as they like to keep control of their bookings and not have to go through a TA for any modifications. We have ended our relationship with our TA of many years as the service has gone way down. We have booked our last several cruises (including our MSC cruise this past January) direct and through various promos were able to still receive some perks.

If yo insist on starting these nonsense threads at least start them in the right place. This is the MSC board and your threads are not MSC specific.

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We have booked our last several cruises (including our MSC cruise this past January) direct and through various promos were able to still receive some perks.

You clearly missed the point of my entire article. By not booking through TA (as you suggested) you will be missing out on OBC that come directly from them, no matter what you can do alone the TA will always have a better deal just with OBC alone. The TA can also offer better rates due to "volume purchasing" of their respective agency + they have a bigger pull with the cruiselines than you do alone individually.

In every way a TA is a better move, and it costs you NOTHING to enroll them. You dont need any service from them, I dont expect anything from a TA except to fill out my application for the ticket which takes them at most 10 mins and I get my OBC and off I go. These TA's spend 10 mins taking your request and submitting the forms and they collect the $300-$500 commission from each sale and off they go 10 mins later to answer someone else's request. With thousands of people going on cruises each and every single day TA's must be killing it, I just cant believe no one seems to realize the amount of money they are making off commissions based on typical cruise fares and how many people go on cruises weekly/daily.

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Marinerboy, You are completely wrong about "nobody booking direct." If you had said something like "only fools book direct" I might have been in your camp :). I have argued the issue of how to book on several cruise blogs here on CC and it still amazes me how many folks book direct with cruise lines. Consider Holland America where they call their booking clerks "Personal Cruise Consultants (PCCs)." Many HAL cruisers seem to bond with their PCC and are willing to pay an extra 10% (or more) to book direct. Go figure. And we have met cruisers on other lines with a similar attitude. Some will tell you that by booking direct they can "maintain control" but this really makes very little sense.

 

Perhaps there is hope for you...since you have mastered the art of booking the best deals.

 

Hank

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Someone please pass the popcorn. MB, your grasp of the cruise industry is very entertaining...totally inaccurate...but very entertaining.:DMaybe we will hear from an agent who can enlighten you.

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All you have to do is take phone calls all day and collect commission. Yes not all the cruise fare is commissionable, we know that. But please do the math, a few bookings a day of $1000 USD per person ( say total $8,000 a day) that works out to 10-15% commission easy $800-$1000 on regular day. On a bad day say you did $4000 USD that is still $400-$500 per day. Incredible for just answering phone calls and booking people in.

 

If you are relying on people just calling in, please correct your "bad day" to $0. Because it will happen.

 

When travel agents buy rooms in bulk, are they left with all the rooms the have purchased? They may have to eat rooms from cruise to cruise or sell them below value to make a portion of the cost they have paid.

 

If you choose this route, you should look at real estate as well. You could have two phones in your home office and just have people call you all day long, even on a bad day. The real estate phone won't ring as much, but you'll get a much bigger commission per transaction. Both for doing hardly anything.

 

Good luck

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When agency's reserve a block of rooms, it is strictly on a consignment basis. The rooms must be sold or deposited by a certain deadline or the rooms are recalled by the cruiselines, to be returned to general available inventory. This is why there may be nothing available one day, but plenty of rooms available the next. There are far more inside cabins to be sold for a $25-50 commission, than there are suites that command the higher commissions. And in many cases the amount of work that goes into a inside room sale is far greater than the suite sale.

 

As an agent, I totally feel that cruiselines should not allow agencys to discount or offer any perk over what the cruiseline itself is offering. It has become the norm for people to expect/demand additional OBC from agencies, money that comes out of their pockets. We earn our commissions just as a client earned their money that they are paying for the cruise. There is no reason for the expectation that agencies should augment the clients cost. After all the cruise buyer is not paying for the Agency's service. If a customer wants to negotiate their price, they should be dealing directly with the cruiseline. In essence you are saying I have to pay you out of my pocket for you to take a cruise. And I know I have heard the story many times, "a little commission is better than no commission at all" Believe me, I want you to cruise and I want you to get the lowest price from the cruiseline, but I do not want to pay you money out of my pocket to cruise. Sorry, just the way it is. I earn my commission just as you earn your salary. And if you do not think I do, I think you should talk to the cruiseline and tell them they are paying us too much commission. I am sure they will be glad to pay us less and pad their bottom line, not yours. In fact some cruiselines are contemplating going to agencies that are discounting their product and diminishing their Brand, and lowering their commission rates, since the agencies do not seem to need that amount of commission. And I, for one, will applaud that day as we get back to being a service company and not a discount house.

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This reminds me of the old adage....."better to be silent and thought to be a fool than to speak (in this case, post) and remove all doubt."

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If you are relying on people just calling in, please correct your "bad day" to $0. Because it will happen.

 

When travel agents buy rooms in bulk, are they left with all the rooms the have purchased? They may have to eat rooms from cruise to cruise or sell them below value to make a portion of the cost they have paid.

 

If you choose this route, you should look at real estate as well. You could have two phones in your home office and just have people call you all day long, even on a bad day. The real estate phone won't ring as much, but you'll get a much bigger commission per transaction. Both for doing hardly anything.

 

Good luck

 

 

MarinerBoy: Don't forget, there are thousands of agencies. That OBC you're gladly handing out.... comes from your commission.

 

Those phone calls you're anticipating to be non-stop.... aren't. And the ones you DO get, are the result of thousands of dollars of advertising you need to spend.

 

 

Plus you have to pay into a Compensation Fund, which protects consumers in the event the agency goes bust.

 

And if you're thinking of working for an existing agency....remember, they'll probably take about 60-75% of that commission off the top, for overhead.

 

 

But since you'd be at the top of your field within a year (before you turn 35....or else you're nobody), you could count on at least $59,000 / year. :'):'):')

 

 

Stephen

 

 

.

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It is that easy MarineBoy. I suggest you quit your job and start tomorrow.

 

Unfortunately to follow your advice MarineTroll would need to get a job first. :D

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