As the Travel Concierge for Peace Frogs Travel/Outfitters, I get a lot of esoteric questions regarding the workings of a travel agency. Many people do not know what a travel agent, or travel consultant, does or can do for them. Clients often assume that the main source of income for a travel agency is through airline commissions.
Twenty years ago, when I first worked in the travel industry, the airlines paid travel agents a 10% commission on all flights booked through their agency and yes, that constituted a significant portion of an agency’s income. In the early 2000’s the airlines abruptly stopped paying any travel agency commissions and left travel agencies in a reactive situation where the most resourceful agencies figured out how to stay in business and what the value of the services they provided was to the travel consumer. The travel agency fee for service had arrived.
In the months and years following this change in how they earned money, about 75% of all domestic travel agencies closed up shop.
I tell potential clients to think of your travel consultant as a travel partner. They are your advocate and will seek the best hotel accommodations to fit your needs and preferences, the air carriers that provide you with the most direct route at the best price, and self or guided tour options for sightseeing at your destination. The consultants at Peace Frogs Travel/Outfitters work hard for their money, which comes in the form of commissions from tour operators, cruise lines, hotels, car rental companies and other service providers in addition to our fee for service, which is $50.00 per person.