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Anyone ever work for Academy Travel being an Auth. Disney Vacation Planner from home?

Discussion in 'WDW Trip Planning' started by IWorkWTeeth, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. IWorkWTeeth

    IWorkWTeeth New Member

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    I am considering becomming an independant contractor/travel agent for Academy Travel in NJ and booking Disney vacations from home. Has anyone ever done this or knows someone who has? We have to complete a Disney traning course (given by Disney) to become certified. It is $300 to start and I don't want to blow the money if I'm not going to reap any benefits. Please give me any insight on this manner. Thanks All!!
     
  2. DisneyJoe

    DisneyJoe Well-Known Member

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    When you speak about "reaping benefits", what benefits are you talking about?


    As an agency owner of an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner agency, we constantly get people applying to our Independent Consultant Program. Many come to us and don't realize the work that is involved in order to make money and then "reap benefits". My IC's aren't able to earn the IATA Travel Agent ID card until they have earned $5000 in commissions in a 12 month period, this is a standard for the industry for proving that you are a bonafide agent.

    In other words, you don't reap benefits just by paying $300. You reap benefits by education and training (more than just the College of Disney Knowledge), learning the job, learning to sell your services, and becoming an expert at all Disney Destinations and then building a clientele, one client and one trip at a time - and the work you are doing now for a client won't pay any commission until they travel, which could be 3, 6 or even 12 months or more in the future. Once you have established yourself as a travel professional, then you earn the right to use travel agent benefits.
     
  3. DisneyJoe

    DisneyJoe Well-Known Member

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    I'd also encourage you to do research on other agencies and compare what they offer.
     
  4. WDWmazprty

    WDWmazprty Well-Known Member

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    Right, mines was a whoooole lot less than $300 and not through Academy Travel.
     
  5. IWorkWTeeth

    IWorkWTeeth New Member Original Poster

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    That helps me to understand it a bit better. The benefits I spoke about are exactly as you discussed. I understand that work is involved, I have no problem putting in the time! I LOVE Disney and it would be an experience for me to learn about more than what I just see at the parks. Then, after I've completed what ws needed, I'll reap great benefits!!
    Thanks!!
     
  6. IWorkWTeeth

    IWorkWTeeth New Member Original Poster

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    Who did you go through?
     
  7. WDWmazprty

    WDWmazprty Well-Known Member

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    I'll PM you. :wave:
     
  8. DisneyInsider

    DisneyInsider Premium Member

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    In most cases, an agent will get 50% of the paid commission for their work. So remember that in order to just get back your $300 dollars you are going to have to sell $6000 in Disney vacations (Disney pays 10% to the agency).
     
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  9. DisneyJoe

    DisneyJoe Well-Known Member

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    With the proper training, I've seen some as high as 75%
     
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  10. Kingdom Konsultant

    Kingdom Konsultant WDWMAGIC Board Sponsor Premium Member

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    We do not charge our new agents a fee although I know that some agencies do. We have the same restrictions that Joe mentioned with getting the IATA where you do have to sell the minimum of $50,000.

    Our agents are all home based agents also and yes my agents can earn up to 75% commission.

    Pam
     
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  11. DisneyJoe

    DisneyJoe Well-Known Member

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    Some agencies allow just about anyone to join for a fee ( or for free ) , and then train them little by little, if at all, as they go along.

    Others have stricter policies about who can join, what their previous travel experience has to be, have them fill out an application etc so they can show that they have skills.

    Some have you take Disney's College of Knowledge, then hand you a book or manual and say read it and assume you do and you are then a trained agent.

    Others give you a set of training exercises and pair you with a trainer who makes sure that you complete the exercises to their satisfaction.

    Some have mentoring programs where a senior agent is paired with a new agent to make sure that someone is there to guide you along for at least your first 2 months or so after training is complete.

    Some will start you with a low commission split, then raise it as you complete training or reach certain sales levels.

    Some give terrific support to their agents, answering phone calls and emails almost instantly...

    Research all of the possibilities - there are many agencies out there that do this. Ask to talk to their existing agents to see if they are happy. Ask about support, commission payments, travel document delivery etc.
     
  12. IWorkWTeeth

    IWorkWTeeth New Member Original Poster

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    You know so much about this and now I'm totally confused! I will research my options and hopefully make the right choice! I've looked into a couple online TA courses, but am confused if I need all that to book strictly Disney! :shrug:
     
  13. DisneyJoe

    DisneyJoe Well-Known Member

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    Taking an online TA course would give you knowledge to be a general TA. This would help you a little in a Disney-focused agency, but if much of the coursework is focused on booking airline tickets and using a GDS, then those courses are not needed for being a Disney focused agent. Make sure the coursework would apply to booking Disney trips.

    When I look at applicants, I first look at the number of times that they have visited WDW or other Disney Destinations as an adult - and they need to have planned the trips themselves directly with Disney and not with a TA. My current criteria is that you must have traveled to WDW at least 5 times in the last 5 years, preferably to a few different WDW resorts at different levels, on trips that were at least 3 nights each. This lets me know that you are probably starting with a decent base knowledge so that I'm not teaching you everything about WDW from scratch.

    If you do a Google Search for

    Disney travel agent join our team

    you will find plenty of resources.

    Good luck in your search.
     
  14. Miche

    Miche New Member

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    Information on Kingdom Konsultants or other travel agencies that provide training!

    Hi, I'm Michele! I go to Disney frequently. You might say I am obsessed with all things Disney. I know I am not alone in that feeling. The reason I am on here is because I am interested in becoming a travel agent and assist people as they plan their Disney vacations! I would love to parlay my love of Disney into a career and make people's Disney dreams a reality while working from my home office. Please contact me with more information. Thank you!
     
  15. DisneyJoe

    DisneyJoe Well-Known Member

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    Be sure to do due diligence when researching agencies - see if you can speak to a few of their agents to see if they receive timely commission payments and are happy with the support that they receive from the owner and agency support staff.
     
  16. Disney05

    Disney05 Active Member

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    I have thought of doing this too. I filled out a very long and detailed application/questionnaire from another popular Disney authorized travel agent. I'm still waiting to hear. There is an initial fee,which of course I only have to pay if I'm accepted. Then the training, I was told, was about 4 months long. All internet based.
     
  17. Master Yoda

    Master Yoda Pro Star Wars geek. Premium Member

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    Very true. I have seen a few travel agencies that work almost like multilevel marketing. They hire anyone that can pay the fees and then really do not care if you book anything or not as they make money either way.
     
  18. Kingdom Konsultant

    Kingdom Konsultant WDWMAGIC Board Sponsor Premium Member

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    I agree with Joe. Do some research on the agency and see if you can contact a few agents to check things out.

    Pam
     
  19. Disneybird

    Disneybird Member

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    I work in a large office and we have a part-time travel agent that works there too. I have never used her to plan a trip because I feel with info I get on this board and a few others, I can do a good job on my own. I did use kingdom konsultants to plan my daughters Alaska cruise for her honeymoon last year and Tammy did a great job.
    Most of the women at work know that I'm a disneyholic. Recently 2 of the ladies there booked honeymoon trips for the month of October. One did it on her own and the other used the TA at work, both adding the dining plan. Of the one that used the TA, she asked me a few times if the pricing, etc. sounded right. This was in July. I told her I thought Disney would release discounts for October at some time. Well, sure enough when free dining was released, I let her know. She went to the TA who told her it was ending in Sept.. The lady with the reservation called Disney and was told that yes, there would be free dining during her trip. She then went to the TA again who again told her it was ending in Sept.. She even went as far as showing her a website that stated it was ending in Sept.. This person kept coming to me and asking me what to do. I hated to get in the middle of it, but I told her where to look on the internet, then let the TA know that she had called Disney and also what she found on the internet. It was only after all this, that the TA adjusted her trip, saving her over $400.
    I also talked to the second lady that booked her trip on her own. She called Disney and was refunded over $300. I then booked her dining reservations for her and made her an itinerary. She has never been to WDW, and her fiance hasn't been in 20 years.
     
  20. Kingdom Konsultant

    Kingdom Konsultant WDWMAGIC Board Sponsor Premium Member

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    That is so nice of you to help them out the way you did. Those co-workers are very lucky that you were there to guide them along. Unfortunately there are a lot of agencies or TA's working for companies that do not know the first thing about booking Disney travel. Yet again another reason why if you are going to Disney and you are going to use an agent please be sure to use one that is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.

    Pam
     
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