Career Development

What Does a Reservation Agent Do?

Find out what a reservation agent does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a reservation agent.

Reservation agents are the face of an airline. They’re the people who answer your calls, emails, and tweets when you want to book a flight or ask about ticket prices or availability. They also handle customer service issues that arise during the course of a flight—everything from lost luggage to complaints about rude flight attendants.

Reservation agents must be able to multitask effectively while juggling multiple phone lines, computer screens, and other sources of information at once. They need strong communication skills to deal with frustrated customers and angry employees alike.

Reservation Agent Job Duties

A reservation agent typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Making reservations and answering questions on topics such as hotel policies or flight schedules
  • Resolving customer service issues and booking new reservations when necessary
  • Explaining policies and procedures to customers to ensure that they have a positive experience when interacting with the company
  • Verifying information such as credit card numbers and birthdates to ensure that it is accurate
  • Updating records of all reservations for flights, cruises, hotels, rental cars, etc.
  • Explaining airline policies regarding overbooking and cancellations of flights due to inclement weather
  • Assisting customers with special requests such as providing extra leg room seats or upgrading to first class
  • Processing and tracking refunds for returned tickets or rooms for reservation cancellations
  • Escalating issues to supervisors when needed

Reservation Agent Salary & Outlook

Reservation agents’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the company size and geographic location. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of commissions and bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $36,000 ($17.31/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $82,500 ($39.66/hour)

The employment of reservation agents is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Growth will be driven by the increasing popularity of travel and tourism, as well as the need for customer service in a variety of industries. As more people travel, demand for travel services will increase, leading to greater demand for reservation agents.

Related: Reservation Agent Interview Questions and Answers

Reservation Agent Job Requirements

A reservation agent typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: A high school diploma is often a minimum requirement for reservation agents. However, some employers prefer candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in hospitality, tourism or a related field. Relevant coursework includes hospitality management, sales, marketing, business and communication.

Training & Experience: Most reservation agents receive on-the-job training. This training may last for a few weeks or a few months, depending on the company and the agent’s experience. During training, a reservation agent will learn the company’s reservation system and procedures. They will also learn about the company’s policies and procedures.

Certifications & Licenses: While certifications are not required for reservation agents to earn their position, they can gain certifications to gain more theoretical and practical knowledge of the services and techniques involved in the position.

Reservation Agent Skills

Reservation agents need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication skills: Communication skills are a necessary skill for reservation agents. You must be able to communicate with customers over the phone and through email. You also need to be able to communicate with other employees in order to find the best accommodations for customers.

Customer service skills: Customer service skills are an essential part of the job of a reservation agent. You may be the first person a customer speaks to when they call a company, so it’s important to be friendly and helpful. You should be able to answer questions about the company’s services and products, and you should be able to resolve customer issues.

Organizational skills: Reservation agents often have strong organizational skills, as they must be able to keep track of multiple reservations at once. This can include keeping track of customer information, flight numbers, flight times and other details. Organizational skills can also help you keep track of reservations that have been canceled or changed, so you can update the customer and make room for new reservations.

Computer skills: Reservation agents use computers to access and update reservation databases, enter customer information and make changes to reservations. They also use computers to communicate with customers via email and other messaging platforms. Computer skills are essential for reservation agents, as they use computers throughout their workday.

Problem-solving skills: Reservation agents often work with customers who are upset or frustrated. They use their problem-solving skills to help customers find solutions to their issues and remain calm and friendly throughout the conversation. This can help the customer have a positive experience and encourage them to use the company’s services again in the future.

Reservation Agent Work Environment

Reservation agents typically work in call centers and spend their shifts answering customer calls. They may work for airlines, hotels, rental car companies, or cruise lines. Most reservation agents work full time, and some work more than 40 hours per week. Many reservation agents work evenings, weekends, and holidays because that is when most people travel. Some reservation agents may be required to travel to training sessions or conferences. The work can be stressful because reservation agents must be able to handle customer complaints and solve problems quickly.

Reservation Agent Trends

Here are three trends influencing how reservation agents work. Reservation agents will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Self-Service Technology

The growth of self-service technology is changing the way that businesses operate. This technology allows customers to interact with a company without the need for human interaction, which can save both time and money.

Reservation agents can take advantage of this trend by becoming familiar with self-service technology and how to use it effectively. This will allow them to provide excellent customer service while also saving time and money for their company.

More Focus on Customer Experience

As businesses focus more on customer experience, reservation agents will need to be prepared to handle a variety of different situations.

This includes being able to handle difficult customers, dealing with last-minute changes, and providing excellent customer service. In order to be successful in this field, reservation agents will need to be able to think quickly on their feet and be able to handle any situation that comes their way.

Greater Use of Social Media

Social media has become an increasingly important tool for businesses looking to reach new customers. As a result, reservation agents will need to be familiar with social media platforms and how to use them to promote their business.

In addition, reservation agents will need to be able to handle customer inquiries and complaints that come in through social media channels. This requires strong communication skills and the ability to resolve issues quickly.

How to Become a Reservation Agent

A reservation agent career can be a great way to get your foot in the door of the travel industry. As a reservation agent, you’ll be responsible for answering customer calls and helping them with their travel reservations. This is a great opportunity to learn about different destinations and cultures, as well as develop your customer service skills.

To become a reservation agent, you’ll need to have excellent communication skills and be able to handle difficult situations calmly. You should also be familiar with the various airlines and their routes so that you can help customers find the best flight options.

Advancement Prospects

Reservation agents can move up to become senior reservation agents or reservation supervisors. With experience, they may also become travel counselors, who plan and book travel for individuals and groups. Some reservation agents may eventually open their own travel agency.

Reservation Agent Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we provide our clients with a one-of-a-kind travel experience by creating customized itineraries that are tailored to their specific needs and interests. We are looking for a reservation agent to join our team and help us continue to provide this exceptional level of service. The ideal candidate will have experience in the travel industry, excellent customer service skills, and a strong attention to detail. He or she will be responsible for handling customer inquiries, making travel arrangements, and ensuring that all reservations are processed accurately and in a timely manner.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Answer incoming calls and provide information about hotel services, rates, and amenities to potential guests
  • Upsell guest rooms and packages to maximize revenue
  • Cross-sell other hotel services, such as restaurants, spas, and transportation
  • Make reservations for guests based on their preferences and needs
  • Modify existing reservations as needed
  • Handle customer complaints in a professional and courteous manner
  • Follow up with guests after their stay to ensure they had a positive experience
  • Keep updated on changes to the hotel property, including new services and promotions
  • Stay up-to-date on competitor rates and services
  • Process payments and handle financial transactions
  • Maintain accurate records of all reservations
  • Generate reports as needed

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • 1-2 years experience in customer service, sales, or related field
  • Exceptional communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Friendly and professional demeanor
  • Ability to work independently and with a team
  • Excellent time management and organizational skills
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, with aptitude to learn new software and systems

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • College degree
  • Bilingual (fluent in Spanish and English)
  • Previous experience working in the hospitality industry
  • Experience with reservation software, such as Sabre or Galileo
  • Familiarity with city attractions and landmarks


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