Centrav Resources

How to Make Money Selling Air

You need to sell air

If you are not selling air you are losing revenue opportunities as well as clients. At Centrav.com you can add a markup to every fare — the revenue is there for the taking. If you push a client away without offering to do the air for them you will lose some of them for good. By selling air and giving your customers the opportunity to purchase air from you-you will be selling more trips.

Selling air = more trips sold.

And, it is your higher end clients that will walk away if you don’t sell air. It might be true that a cheapskate will leave you for a $5 lower price at an OTA. But the high-end client will usually only walk if you don’t serve their needs. So, be sure to serve all their travel needs. Airfare is generally the biggest headache for every traveler. If you can become a painkiller they will use you again and again. Yes, I get it that you don’t want the headache of selling air either! That’s why you book with Centrav… you handle the sale, we handle the headache.

You make more money just because you sell air

As already mentioned, if you don’t sell air you’re missing out on more business. You probably think airfare is time-consuming–well it is if you don’t have the right partner. Centrav takes on the responsibility if there are debit memos, you never sit on hold with an airline, and we monitor and process schedule changes – letting you tell us what is acceptable or not. Centrav has priority status with airlines, making Centrav the best airline partner for booking air. Centrav offers discounted deals, advice on markups, and net and published fares domestic and international.

Present the value of booking your client’s airfare.

The leading misconception about air is that my client can do it all on their own. This is true in some cases, but many people, especially higher-end customers, don’t want to take on the responsibility or headache of booking their own air. They want you to handle it and then represent them when there’s a problem. But how can you influence an airline? Frankly, your agency may be unknown to them. But ours isn’t! Centrav has Top Account status with most major airlines. They will indeed listen to us when we go to them on your behalf.

Present and explain how difficult airfare can be for an amateur. The headaches with air are endless and I’m sure you will be able to present that to your client with a few examples. You are a real asset to your clients–so believe it!

How to make more money

1. Add a markup to every fare (when you buy from Centrav).

If you buy air on the airline’s website there isn’t a good way to add your profit. But at Centrav.com, you can add your profit to every fare – even if it is a domestic published fare. However, it is important to know the difference between a commission (markup) and a service fee. Commissions (markups) are hidden from your client because they are part of the airfare. Service fees are a separate charge on their credit card. Be aware that your client will see this and wonder what it is, so make sure you tell them up front.

How much profit do I add? That’s the age-old question. Should I try to sell 1 million widgets at one penny over cost, or should I try to sell one widget at $1M over cost? Somewhere in between these extremes is a happy medium. Experience will help you find the zone, but I can give you a few hints to get started.

  • Published fares without commission are the same price that your client sees online. Your markup should be fairly low: Between $20 and perhaps $50. If you know your client and know that you can charge more– go for it.
  • Our NET fares are generally lower than published fares but that is not always the case. Pricing is controlled by the airlines. But you can always look at the published fare price displayed on Centrav.com and compare it to our NET fare in order to set an appropriate markup.

2. Look for opportunities to add significant markups.

Be sure to vary your fees if you add a markup. Try not to charge one flat fee for every air ticket you book. Domestic flights are not a good trip to charge large markups–you will definitely lose customers this way. Just add a fee, serve the customer, and keep going. Look for opportunities to charge large markups on international flights. One way net fares are often deeply discounted under the published fare. You can make hundreds of dollars on these tickets.

3. Know when to sell up to the next cabin.

On a long haul flight international flight such as to Australia or New Zealand, there is nothing like extra legroom or better yet, a lie flatbed. And with a higher-priced ticket, you can make a higher markup.

4. Protect your commission in case of cancellations

The last thing you want is to put a lot of effort into booking a ticket, only to have your customer cancel and your commission recalled. Click here to learn more about how to protect your commission.

For you to successfully make money selling air we recommend watching our video for extra training to get you selling air like a pro. After reading this article, we hope you are more comfortable selling air to your clients. Selling air can be complicated, but with the right partner, you can book air the easy way. Start selling air and turn more of a profit!


Greg Rholl

Greg is Vice President of Business Development and has been employed with Centrav since June of 1991. He serves as an integral part of Centrav's leadership team with a focus on client relations and sales.

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