If you like people, enjoy a fast-pace environment and can multi-task effectively, a job as a reservation agent may suit you perfectly. In this career, you sell transportation and lodging and helps guests make use of those services. Duties vary somewhat based on whether you work for an airline, ground transportation provider or lodging facility, but core duties are fairly typical.
Make and Confirm Reservations
A primary responsibility of virtually all reservation agents is to make and confirm reservations. Whether at an airline, hotel, resort, bus or train station, your duties include selling tickets in-person or to phone customers and confirming reservations with follow-up emails, letters or calls. Accuracy and precision in this role is critical to avoid overbooking seats and to ensure that patrons get to the right place at the right time.
Agents also answer a number of inquiries in-person and from customers and interested prospects on the phone. Airline, bus and train agents often answer basic questions about any delays, policies and travel. Agents who sell lodging or ticket reservations on the phone often handle service and pricing questions before a purchase. Customers often want to know about a hotel's amenities, check-in and check-out times and pricing before booking a stay, for instance. Friendliness, courtesy and patience are necessary, though agents usually must work efficiently to handle a high volume of callers or guests.
Direct and Assist
Agents direct and assist customers on how to use or access reservations after sale as well. In an airport, the reservation agent often helps fliers check bags and provides gate information and boarding instructions. In some cases, they arrange for special services for children, expectant mothers or people with disabilities. In other settings, reservation agents may offer other types of directions, such as driving and parking directions, check-in guidelines and room assignments.
Phone Sales and Service
Not all reservations agents actively sell. They mainly deal with the standard volume of unsolicited requests. However, agents who work for travel agencies or ground transportation providers do often engage in active phone sales and service. Bus company reservation agents may actively contact prospects and promote group travel, tours and party bus services, for instance. Reservation agents in travel agencies often contact prospects and former patrons with promotions on travel packages.
Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.