Sky Bird Makes It Easy to Book Large Groups 

Strength in Numbers

When you’re approached by a large group of travelers, it’s both exciting and intimidating. On one hand, you know there’s a big fat commission check in it for you. On the other hand, the logistics of booking 10+ people is complex. We’d like to give you that commission check AND peace of mind. Our Groups Department is specifically trained to help you handle large groups.
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The Benefits of Familiarity

How Sky Bird Provides the Best Customer Service

The smiling barista who hands us our coffee every morning but suggests we will love their dark roast.

The math teacher our child wants for the next level because of how they inspire.

The always-reliable handyman we call on to fix anything around the house.

We love familiarity and we are always willing to put our trust into someone we know and has proven their capability time and again.

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Running the Extra Mile

How Sky Bird Provides the Best Customer Service

Travel Agent: I booked my customer’s flight through you and they are experiencing a problem with a cancelled flight.

Other Airfare Consolidators: We can’t help you with that. You’ll have to  call the airline.

Um, no. At Sky Bird, we do things differently. We are committed to going the extra mile for our customers. A happy traveler is a repeat customer for you. We are more than happy to go out of our way to support you and your clients from the moment you book the flight until they return home.

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So, You Decided to Become a Travel Agent. Now What?

Now, on to the next step – accreditation. You’re probably overwhelmed with all the unfamiliar acronyms and terminology, like CLIA, ARC, IATA, TRUE, etc. It’s like learning a foreign language. This article will help you understand the nuances among some of the most common accreditation organizations and hopefully help you decide which one(s) are right for you.

How to become a CERTIFIED travel agent.

Let’s start with the basics. Continue reading “So, You Decided to Become a Travel Agent. Now What?”

10 Ways to Fail as a Travel Agent

One of the best tools for success is learning from other’s mistakes. There are hundreds of success stories or articles about “how to be a travel agent.” But what about the travel agents who fail? Why do some agents flourish and others flop?

We asked industry experts what they have observed working with agents throughout the past 40 years. Here is what they had to say:

1. How to Fail: Turn away opportunities

How to succeed: Take advantage of educational opportunities. Whether that be workshops for agents, or your neighbor wants a booking for a trip you’ve never planned, take every opportunity that comes your way.

Richard Branson once said, “If someone asks you to do something, say ‘yes’ then go figure out how to do it.”

2. How to Fail: Depend 100% on one marketing outlet

How to succeed: Social media is a great way to market your business, but it shouldn’t be the only way you market. Take advantage of every available outlet. If you have a website, learn how to utilize AdWords to be the first travel agent in your area people find when they search Google. Start a blog to organically rank higher in Google searches. Contact your suppliers and ask if they offer any promotional assistance. Make it easy for people to find you. Everybody is a prospect, and every prospect is a potential client.

3. How to Fail: Never ask for advice from long-established agents or vendors

How to succeed: King Solomon said “there is nothing new under the sun”. These folks have seen it all. Find yourself a mentor and listen!

Don’t go to trade shows and merely collect trinkets. Agents who do this at trade shows display a lack of professionalism to vendors and fellow agents. Rather, ask each representative about the best ways for you to promote their product.

4. How to Fail: Compete on price

How to succeed: Someone will always have a cheaper price. You get what you pay for. Do your homework, make your recommendation and demonstrate your value.

5. How to Fail: Minimize your efforts

How to succeed: Remember the old sales adage: Anything will work, if you do. You can go door-to-door in your neighborhood and ask people to buy from you. That’s not the most efficient or professional method, but it will work. The point is, the more people you come in contact with the more sales you’re likely to make.

6. How to Fail: Work for free

How to succeed: It is tempting to give up your commissions/fees for family members. Which is better: Take the money you deserve or ask for financial assistance because you didn’t?

7. How to Fail: Don’t work for free

How to succeed: That’s not a contradiction. Holding community seminars on travel-related subjects promotes you and your agency as experts. In general, “the educator gets the business.”

8. How to Fail: Ignore thereasons for your previous career success

How to succeed: Travel is an exciting business, but it IS a business. The same things that made you successful in your prior career will help you. Example: Teachers tend to do well in travel, not because they know geography, but because they know the learning process is long and very gradual – almost imperceptible in the beginning. A well-rounded travel agent is a good agent. Remember to bring all your experience to the table and never stop learning.

9. How to Fail: Ignore selling airline tickets

How to succeed: Agents who send their clients to the airline website or an OTA open themselves up to competition from companies that are adept at tracking cookies. The minute your clients search for prices to Paris, they will be bombarded with special hotel, tour and cruise rates.

10. How to Fail: Wait for group business to come your way

How to succeed: Actually, speculative group business is more profitable than unsolicited group business. Customers who call you have most likely already called the airlines and at least one other agent. However, creating an Ikebana trip (Japanese art of flower arrangements) and promoting it through your local florist will generate business organically and produce higher margins.

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell

Failure is the best teacher. There’s no quicker way to learn than from each other’s experiences. So, stay connected! Sign up with Sky Bird and then join Sky Bird’s Fare Insiders Facebook page. You can connect with other agents and get “insider” information on special fares and promotions!

Have any additional tips or advice to add? Le   ave them in the comments!

We Speak Your Language, Literally!

How Sky Bird Provides the Best Customer Service

Agents with VFR customers have a unique benefit in working with their clients. They understand their culture and can speak in their respective native language. This creates a greater connection between travel agent and customer.

Imagine booking fares with the help of an airline consolidator that speaks your language!

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New Travel Regulations: Large Electronics Banned on Flights

The Department of Homeland Security has ordered that travelers departing for the United States from 10 different Middle Eastern airports will not be able to have electronic devices other than cell phones in their carry-ons. Citing elevated intelligence, this ban begins Saturday, March 25, 2017, and will continue indefinitely.

The UK is also taking similar measures. While their ban includes six airports of origin, the number of air carriers has increased.

While the news is disheartening, passengers may have to find alternative means of entertainment. We have compiled a list of book recommendations for when you want an alternative to the in-flight entertainment.
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The Benefits of Experience

How Sky Bird Provides the Best Customer Service


It’s what we feel when we pick up the phone and call the cable company or the cell phone company.

Is it their inexperienced customer service representatives? Is it their unwillingness to help?

We understand what it is like. And we understand what it is like to receive amazing customer service too. Providing incredible customer service is something we strive for at Sky Bird. With over 40 years of experience, we have proven time and time again that our customer service agents are knowledgeable and experienced.
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Your Month by Month Guide to Destinations

The Best Places to Go No Matter the Time of Year

Finally, it’s March! Winter is done. Sure, the weather isn’t perfect yet, but hey, the chances of snow are slimmer. For months like this where the weather is in between hot and cold, we started wondering, what are some decent places to visit? We don’t want to send clients to regions where the weather is just as bleak as it is here. We did some research and compiled a list of all the best and worst places to visit, month by month. Here’s what we found out:

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Sky Bird Wins Gold at 2017 Travvy Awards

At Sky Bird, we are always striving for excellence, whether it’s getting the lowest fares to our clients or growing our relationships with airlines. We always set our sights on being the best, and this year you, the travel agent, recognized and voted us #1. For that, we are profoundly grateful.

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