Know everything about the IATA membership process and become an IATA certified travel agent for your guaranteed success in the travel industry.
If you are into the travel business or studies, it becomes obvious that you must have heard about IATA.
But only a few know about what exactly is IATA and its registration process.
So what’s IATA (International Air Transport Association)?
A trade association that regulates air transportation with around 300 airlines and 115+ countries as their partner.
It designs and formulates most of the rules associated with air transportation be it standards, schedules, food, security, ticketing, training, and more.
Alright, we hope you get what it is. You can know more about IATA here.
Now the most important question, should you go for IATA certification for your travel agency?
To understand this, let’s know about the pros and cons of having a full-time IATA membership for your travel business.
- IATA-affiliated travel agents are usually considered more credible in the market. Using the IATA logo and branding on your website and other marketing material enhances public image and reliability to the manifold.
- You will get to use the billing settlement plan (BSP), an invoicing and payment interface. (But a security amount is required starting at USD 10,000)
- Usually, it’s considered that an IATA agent earns a little higher than non-IATA, but is not guaranteed.
- Access to training and publications
- Be ready to fulfill their stringent membership requirements. Documentation is very demanding and will require a lot of time, energy, and money.
- You have to take care of and maintain a lot of paperwork and formalities for their annual and short-term reviews.
- Security amount is to be submitted for BSP which starts from USD 10,000 in the case of India.
- Ticket price discounts are very negligible most of the time and save you very little when considering the security amount that needs to be deposited to avail of their services.
Important Documents required for IATA membership:
- Proof of general business operations: details about services you offer, agreements, etc.
- Proof of Qualifications: details about your professional training courses
- Travel industry experience: Prior experience with an IATA registered company with little knowledge about aviation and ticketing is an add-on.
- Financial documents: All your financial documents including loans and insurances.
The BOTTOM LINE is:
If you have bulk ticket booking requirements per month and you are concerned about your brand image.
Then don’t look anyway and get your full-time IATA membership straight away.
Else you may wait for your business to grow for becoming a full-time IATA member.
Meanwhile, you can use an air ticket consolidator to issue tickets for your clients.
Booking with a Consolidator
Consolidators are the easiest and most effective way to handle ticket issuance.
You will still use your own GDS credentials and share the PNR with the consolidator after booking.
And then it will get reviewed and a ticket is issued accordingly.
Don’t worry, all this process is automated nowadays.
In this scenario, agents handle bookings entirely on their end and sign an agreement with a consolidator to issue tickets for the bookings they make.