Below is a list of the Most Frequently Asked Questions we receive about our Outside Agent Program:
What is the cost?
a.) The annual fee is based on the following 3 commission tiers:
80% - $199.00
70% - $159.00
60% - $119.00
Is previous travel agent experience mandatory?
Absolutely not! We welcome agents new to the industry as well as experienced agents. Our mission is to support you through different avenues of training so you can become successful in your travel career.
What are the steps to joining?
a.) Our enrollment process is very easy. Complete our "Enroll Now” form and the process will start immediately. Once we receive your completed paperwork, our team will quickly review your information. Upon qualification, you will be assigned a unique agent number, granted access to the Member’s Only website and our staff member will be in touch with you to arrange your welcome one-on-one webinar.
Do you provide E&O Insurance coverage?
a.) Yes, our agency does have Errors and Omissions (E & O) insurance. However, we strongly suggest you obtain your own E & O coverage.
I live outside the United States, am I able to be an agent?
a.) Our program is only available to those agents that reside full time in the continental US, Hawaii, and Alaska. You must also possess a valid Social Security Number and/or Tax ID, as well as, a US-based bank account.
What qualifications are required to attend a fam or obtain a travel agent rate?
a.) In order to attend a fam or obtain a travel agent rate we require you are an agent for a minimum of 90 days and must have earned a minimum of $500.00 commission during your current active membership. Most vendors will contact us, the host agency, for approval.
How am I paid the commission I earn?
a.) Commissions are paid via Direct Deposit on the 15th of the following month in which the commission is received. For example, a commission received on January 1st will be paid on February 15th.
How am I able to see if commissions have been received for my bookings?
a.) You will have access to "real” time commission postings within the Member’s Only website. We are for-runners with the latest technology and with the addition of a brand new program, you will be able to see immediately when a commission has been received. You will not have to wait for a statement to be emailed to you when you are paid.
What support is offered after I have joined?
a.) You will be contacted by one of our Support Team members to set up a convenient time for a Welcome Tour of the Member’s Only section of the Outside Agent Link website, assist you with joining our Facebook group and offer suggestions, if needed, for developing your business plan. You will continue to receive professional support should questions arise or need assistance booking reservations. Our Support Staff is available 7 days a week via phone or email.
I want to just pay and get an IATAN card. Can I do this?
a.) The only way to obtain an IATAN card is to prove you have earned a minimum of $5000 in commissions paid to you by Outside Agent Link within a 12 consecutive month period and you must work at least 20 hours per week as an Independent Travel Consultant. This is a regulation set forth by IATAN and one that we STRICTLY adhere to. This guideline is put in place to ensure the integrity of the travel professionals in the industry. The benefit is exclusively for those agents who have proven success.
Am I able to enroll in CLIA and receive a CLIA Identification card?
a.) Yes. We offer enrollment to CLIA to all agents who have been paid a minimum of $2000.00 in commission within the calendar year. CLIA has established certain criteria and fees associated with a membership. You would be responsible for following these guidelines and paying the fees directly to CLIA. Our support team will assist and provide you the step-by-step instructions.
I've read that airlines are not paying commission anymore.... how do I make money selling airline tickets?
a.) All airlines have eliminated the commission they pay to travel agencies. Therefore, we don't encourage perspective agents to enter this business with the sole purpose of selling airline tickets. You will make far more money (with much less effort) booking vacation packages (inclusive of airline tickets), escorted tours and cruises. When you do engage with a client who wants an airline ticket, we add on a booking fee to the cost of the ticket which is commissionable to you. This is a standard industry practice regardless.
How is it possible to compete with the big name online agencies such as Travelocity, Expedia, etc.?
a.) It’s very simple actually. We have access to vendors that will price match what your client can find online. One of Support Team will assist you with the process.
How do I know which travel supplier to book for the best commission?
a.) You will be provided the information on our Preferred Suppliers. Booking reservations with the Preferred Suppliers are going to ensure you the highest percentage commission the supplier pays. You are not restricted to book ONLY our Preferred Suppliers. Booking with a supplier that is not preferred will still earn you commission but non-preferred suppliers pay a lower commission percentage.
How soon after I make a reservation will the supplier pay the commission?
a.) This question has several answers:
1.) Most cruise lines pay commission about 21 days AFTER the final payment has been processed. In this case, you will receive the commission prior to your client traveling.
2.) The majority of Tour/Land suppliers pay commission 14-21 days AFTER the client has returned from their vacation. However, a few do pay after final payment and before the client travels.
3.) Car and Hotel reservations are paid after the client has either returned the rental car or checked out of the hotel. These commissions tend to take the longest to receive. The normal processing time is between 30-60 days. It is for this reason, we recommend booking packages inclusive of flights, car, and hotel.
4.) Airline reservations that are booked and ticketed through our online GDS system will have a service fee automatically added. You will receive a commission from the service fee with your next commission payment.
5.) Group reservations, either cruises or tour packages, are not paid until after the group has traveled. The payment is usually initiated 30 days from the group’s return.
How are my bookings tracked?
a.) After making a reservation, you will need to access the Member’s Only section of the Outside Agent Link website. There is a section for you to report sales. You will complete this information and we receive notification of your booking. Yes, it is that simple.
How do you know I am the booking agent when confirmations are received from suppliers?
a.) There are 2 ways we are able to determine the booking agent:
1.) When making reservations, it is very important to provide your name AND your unique agent number to the supplier (i.e. Mary1234). We have several agents with the same first name, therefore, when using your agent number, we are able to decipher the correct agent when we receive the booking confirmations
2.) After you complete the reservation, immediately report the sale. Reporting the sale lets us know who booked the reservation.
Will I have to purchase any special software for my computer to book travel?
a.) No. You will be provided a log-in and password for the Agent Access section of the Outside Agent Link website. Our website will provide you information on our Preferred Suppliers and access to:
-Our web-based GDS booking engine
-Commission tracking information
And more much!!!
Do you provide a consumer based booking engine so my client can book travel and I will receive the credit?
a.) We do not provide a consumer-based booking engine. Our belief is not to drive the consumer to the internet to make reservations, simply use the internet for research but rely on the knowledge and value a professional travel consultant can provide when booking their dream vacation.
What marketing options are available?
a.) Through our partnership with Travel Leaders, you will have access to a marketing program which will provide you the ability to send direct mail promotions, emails, etc to your clients.
Do I use YOUR name or MINE for my business?
You have the option to choose:
a.) You may use YOUR business name and information on a business card of your own design. You are an independent contractor affiliated with us. If you need help in coming up with a name for your business, we can offer suggestions. Most people have no problem thinking of a name for their business. Just be absolutely sure the name you choose is not already in use by someone else. Our best suggestion is to keep it simple, easy to spell and remember. Avoid the use of "Net Lingo” by combining letters and/or numbers to create a word. For example: Trvl4u2moro
b.) You may opt to have business cards with the Travel Leaders logo and must be obtained through Outside Agent Link. There are licensing restrictions that must be adhered to.
I've never sold travel before, is there training to teach me what I need to know?
a.) Training is a key factor to becoming successful in the travel industry, especially if you have never sold travel before. Our program is designed so that an enterprising self-starter can quickly learn the ropes and begin making money. Many opportunities for training via Webinars, attending Travel Trade Shows, Ship Inspections, FAM Trips, an online Learning System and more are available. There are agents on our team that never sold travel before joining and now are enjoying the lucrative and rewarding benefits a career in the travel industry can provide.
Does the state I reside in have Individual State Requirements and Licensing?
a.) OutsideAgentLink is registered with the states requiring a Seller of Travel License, it is up to you, as the agent, to check with your local and state municipalities for any laws or requirements set forth for an independent contractor selling travel.