Working as an Airline reservations administrator

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Carol works as an airline reservations administrator for a travel company owned by nine of Europe's leading airlines. She books flights all over the world for business and holiday travellers, whether it's a short hop to Malaga or long-haul to Bangkok.

What does your job involve?

I work for an on-line travel business, helping clients to book flights over the phone or advising them on the best way to find flights and holidays on the web. I arrange flight bookings, car hire, accommodation, travel insurance and chartered flights. It involves a lot of communication with the airlines. In addition, I deal with queries and provide support to new trainees.

What problems do you encounter?

I deal with complicated multi-leg journeys, where there are several stops along the way.

What equipment do you use if any?

I use the normal office suite of programs, including word processing, spreadsheet and database utilities.We also access a Global Distribution System (GDS) system, Amadeus, which is used throughout the travel industry for booking and checking reservations worldwide.

How did you get the job?

It all began in school. My subject options included geography, French and business studies which helped me to get my first job as a travel consultant.

Why did you choose this type of work?

I enjoy working with people and have a keen interest in different countries, travel and cultures. It's very exciting and every day you learn something new about the world. This is the perfect type of work for me, giving me personal job satisfaction. There are also opportunities to travel to different countries.

What training did you receive here?

I was instructed on how to use the highly computerised travel reservation systems, and given help in brushing up on my knowledge of geography! I am continually updated on details of our products, such as hotels, car hire, insurance packages and airport car parking.

What hours do you work?

I work a basic 35 hour week on a shift pattern, which includes weekends as well.

What do you like best about your job?

Every phone call is different. When I'm arranging travel itineraries for clients I feel as though I'm arranging the trip for myself, and this enables me to deliver the best service I can.

What are the skills needed?

Computer literacy is a must, as everything is based on computer technology. It's also necessary to have a good eye for detail, be a good listener and understand the importance of customer service. You need to have a great deal of patience and be able to communicate with people from all walks of life.

What are your long-term career goals?

I'm thinking of studying for professional qualifications which will enable me to set up my own travel agency.

How to become an airline reservations administrator

  • GCSE/A levels
  • Diploma in advanced computer programming
  • Auto-ticketing course
  • Amadeus (reservations system) training with employer.

How do i become an airline reservations administrator tips

  • You must be interested in travel and tourism to work in the sector.

Airline reservations administrator related jobs

  • Holiday centre worker/manager
  • Holiday representative
  • Hotel receptionist
  • Tourist information centre assistant
  • Travel agent

Salary of an Airline reservations administrator

  • A newly-qualified airline reservations administrator earns wages of around £10000-£12,000, rising to an income of £17,000 with experience. Most companies offer discounted travel schemes.

What do you need to be an Airline reservations administrator

  • Although there are no set qualifications, most employers look for GCSEs/S grades (A-C/1-3) in subjects such as maths, English and geography.
  • It helps to have experience of handling cash and dealing with people.
  • Employers also look for ABTAC qualifications (which can be gained at work), and agencies often require a qualification in fares and ticketing.
  • Apprenticeships may be available in England (Skillseekers in Scotland).
  • There may also be relevant AVCE and BTEC National courses locally

Modified: 16 June 2013

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