Experienced travel agents have long used consolidators for obtaining the best possible pricing on international airline fares for their clients. However, many travel planners have little experience with consolidators and don’t know where to begin to establish the proper supplier relationships. The United States Air Consolidator Association, better known as USACA, is making it easier for travel consultants to work with its membership. USACA is an association of twelve distinguished consolidators who have joined together to provide travel agents with a better understanding of the consolidator market and the advantages to working with consolidator fares. USACA serves as the national trade association for airline ticket consolidators committed to integrity, trust and reliability. A travel agent may freely and confidently look to USACA members for consolidated airline tickets. The end result? Better international fares for clients and more profit for the travel agent. Sound like a good deal? Read on.
USACA requires that their members all have at least two years of uninterrupted service to travel agencies, but all of the current members have more than ten each. Members must have a good history of working with travel agents and must meet financial and business requirements to join. USACA “pre-vettes” its consolidator members for the travel agency community so agents can use them with confidence. These assurances provide a pathway for agents to take advantage of both commissionable and net airfares offered by USACA members. As a consequence, agents can create a very profitable revenue stream on international tickets while better servicing their clients.
USACA members are: C & H International; Centrav Inc; GTT Global; Hariworld Travel Inc; International Air Consolidators; Sky Bird Travel; and Trans Am Travel.
Akshay Shah, this year’s USACA president and the Vice-President of Marketing for Sky Bird Travel and Tours says, “USACA serves an integral function to all sides involved: from airlines to reservation systems to agents to consumers. We are constantly striving to provide the travel industry with reputable, quality consolidators who know their craft and are willing to do all they can for their clients. This provides security to the airlines, for they have the confidence that they are being properly represented by an accredited entity, and that their business dealings with our members are fair, responsible, and secure. To travel agents specifically, our mission is simple: to work reliably and quickly so they can maximize revenue. We understand that travel agents are busy. Especially in these difficult economic times, travel agents are working harder than ever. So USACA makes it our mission to provide fast, reliable, trustworthy service, as well as high commissions and NET fares so that agents can achieve the highest possible revenue for their hard work.”
Prem Cohly, CEO of Hariworld Travel, talked about USACA in an interview with Travel Research Online: ” Using a consolidator provides your client with a better value and provides the travel agent with the ability to earn higher commissions and revenues and enhance customer loyalty. Consolidators have the ability to negotiate last minute ticket deals. Hariworld is a member of the United States Air Consolidator Association (USACA), an association of consolidators that have established and maintained high standards of business practices. Net fares allow the travel agents to mark up the ticket according to their market. Discounted published fares allow the agents to get up to 60% off the published rate available in the CRS. This affords travel agents the ability to offer lower airfares at significant savings to their clients.”
As an association dedicated to educating and working with the travel agency community, knowing USACA strives to understand how they can improve their practices is welcome news. For more information on USACA, visit their web site at www.usaca.com.