Getting StartedWhat you need to know about becoming a professional travel agent.

We're excited to introduce you to Sabre Travel Network® and the Sabre® travel marketplace, also known as a global distribution system. Below you'll find answers to some frequently asked questions about our company, the travel agency business and how you can get started.

I'm not a travel agent now but would like to become one. What do I do?

We obviously love travel and welcome your decision to make it your profession. And while we're here to help existing Sabre Connectedsm agents work better, smarter and faster, we cannot make you a travel agent. To be a professional agent and to ticket airline reservations, you must be ARC or BSP accredited or be associated with an ARC or BSP accredited host agency.

What does it mean to be "Sabre Connected"?

"Sabre Connected" is our way of referring to travel agencies that have full access to the Sabre global distribution system (GDS) for air, car, hotel and rail reservations and ticketing. They are connected to the broadest array of product selection for professional travel retailers. Full access to the Sabre GDS does require a contract.  We also offer any professional travel agent access to our leisure products without the need to be a Sabre Connected agent: Sabre® Cruises, Sabre® Vacations, Trams® Back Office or ClientBase®.

What is a GDS?

GDS stands for global distribution system. This is the industry's name for a system that lets travel suppliers distribute travel products' rates and information for agencies to market and sell.

What is ARC?

ARC is an airline-owned company that provides ticket distribution, reporting, and settlement services for over 150 air and rail carriers and more than 20,000 ARC-accredited Travel Agency locations and Corporate Travel Departments. An ARC number is an identifier assigned by the Airlines Reporting Corporation to a travel agency authorized to issue airline tickets. In order to ticket airline reservations, agencies in the United States  must be ARC-accredited or be associated with an accredited host agency.

What is BSP?

IATA's Billing Settlement Plan (BSP) is a system designed to facilitate and simplify the selling, reporting and remitting procedures of IATA Accredited Passenger Sales Agents, as well as improve financial control and cash flow for BSP Airlines. A BSP number is an identifier assigned by IATA to a travel agency authorized to issue airline tickets. In order to ticket airline reservations, agencies outside of the United States must be IATA accredited or be associated with an accredited host agency.

What is a host agency?

A host agency is a bonded, accredited ARC or IATA agency through which an independent agent  has a business arrangement with them to issue airline tickets on their behalf in addition to other services. Please visit the National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA) to learn more. If you are planning to become a Sabre Connected agent, your host agency must also be Sabre Connected.

Why do I need to be accredited by ARC or IATA, or part of a host agency?

In order to be a professional travel agent (or own a travel agency), you need to have the proper industry ID (such as an ARC or IATA number). Without that, suppliers won't know who you are or where to send your commission payments. Airlines will not allow unaccredited, independent agents to issue tickets.   Travel industry accreditation identifies your business to suppliers  and  promotes your agency's credibility and professionalism. 

I want to open my own travel agency. What do I do?

You should  consider travel school or working/mentoring with a travel agency before opening your own business. Today's travel industry is very complex and potential travel agents should be prepared in order to be successful. A good resource is ASTA Member Travel Schools.

What other resources are available if I want to become a travel agent?

You will find valuable information on the ASTA website to help you launch your career. ASTA (short for the American Society of Travel Agents) is the world's largest association of travel professionals. For example, they offer an informative 25-page booklet called "Becoming a Travel Agent" that can help you in your quest to work in travel.

How do I make money in the travel industry?

Travel agencies earn their compensation through services fees paid by their travelers directly to them and through commissions paid by suppliers for certain products or services.It is  up to the supplier whether or not to pay a commission to your agency. 

I am a Sabre Connected agent but need more training and/or information. Where can I get help?

There are several training and support options for existing travel agents to learn how to use Sabre® Red™ Workspace. If you are a Sabre Connected agent, log into Agency eServices with your Sabre Agent ID, your password and your Sabre Pseudo City Code (PCC) and choose "Training" for options like Sabre Personal Trainer, virtual classes, Format Finder, Quick References and Quick Assist.


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