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, 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.”
USACA’s site serves as a powerful resource for an agent to connect with the association. There a travel agent can search various destinations and determine which USACA consolidators have contracts and with which airlines. The site provides links to each of the USACA members, a brief background on the company and the contact information agents need to begin working with their consolidator of choice. There is also a link to a short, online training program to teach travel agents how to best utilize consolidator fares. In addition, there are articles on consolidators that travel agents can use to educate their clients and which the agents can place on their own web site or use in a newsletter. A marketing video is available which agents can send to their clients, complete with the agent’s contact information and logo. All of the marketing materials are free to travel agents.
Using a consolidator provides your client with a better value and provides you with the ability to earn higher commissions and revenues.
USACA serves as the national trade association for airline ticket consolidators commited to integrity, trust and reliability. It is an association of the airline consolidator members, not travel agents, therefore any travel agent may freely and confidently look to USACA members for consolidated airline tickets.
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.