Card-Carrying Agent: How to Get an IATA Card
The International Air Transport Association, or IATA, is an airline trade association, consisting of around 290 airlines. IATA serves to develop industry policies and standards on important aviation issues. Qualified travel agencies may apply for IATA accreditation to help ensure they are accurately identified by industry suppliers.
Once an agency receives IATA accreditation, employees and eligible independent contractors through the agency may apply for the globally-recognized IATA/IATAN card. This gives travel agents professional recognition as well as access to all programs and benefits associated with the card.
How to get an IATA/IATAN card
In order to be eligible for an IATA/IATAN card, an agent must work for an IATA-accredited travel agency. Eligible applicants may be either an owner, manager, or employee involved in the administration, finance, marketing, operations, or sale of travel. An agent may also be an independent consultant through an accredited host agency.
To apply for the IATA card, you should first check with your employer or host agency to verify if they have any additional requirements. Some agencies have a probationary period or require a minimum number of working hours prior to IATA card application.
Once you have verified you are eligible through your agency, you can register here (US-based travel professionals). You will need a valid and unique email address to begin your registration.
* Non-US travel professionals, please visit IATA website here.
IATA/IATAN card applicants must also meet the following criteria:
- Hold a remunerated position at the accredited travel agency
- Be registered with IATAN
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Work for the agency at least 20 hours per week
- Earn a minimum of $5,000 in the year prior to application
What can I do with my IATA card?
The IATA/IATAN card is the only globally-recognized industry credential available. In addition to the pride of your professional recognition, your card gives you access to some great deals and discounts. Your card will get you access to travel discounts associated with the card along with discounts for the Travel & Tourism courses offered by IATA’s training and development institute. These training courses cover a wide variety of industry-related topics. You will find training on everything from improving your management skills to social media marketing for travel.
But now for what every travel agent really wants to know… What discounts does the IATA card provide?
Travel discounts available
A select number of airlines offer airfare discounts to qualified travel professionals. Many of these accept the IATA/IATAN card as proof of eligibility. These can be found on the IATAN website here, although details regarding these rates should be confirmed directly with the airlines.
- Car rentals
Before you book your car rentals, check to see if they offer a deal for IATA/IATAN cardholders. Car rental discounts typically range from 15-20% off. These can be found through the Agent Experience portal on the IATAN website.
City tour passes, museums, aquariums, and other tourist attractions are often available at discounted agent rates. You can also find these through the Agent Experience portal.
Some of the greatest travel deals you will receive through your IATA card are for hotels and resorts. Many of the popular hotel brands will require you to complete a brief training tutorial to learn about their properties and brand. Don’t let that deter you, however! Most of these tutorials actually provide valuable information and hotel savings that are well worth the time!
*Centrav cannot guarantee availability or access to discounts mentioned in this post.
Curious to know which brands and suppliers offer great agent rates? Check out our post on 30 of the top travel agent discounts!