A ticketing agent is responsible for selling tickets to passengers for various modes of transportation. This includes airliners, commercial bus lines and railroads. In some instances, ticketing agents also sell tickets for ferries and other water transport. However, a job as a ticketing agent isn't only limited to selling tickets but includes other responsibilities as well.
Ticketing agents don't only handle the retail portion of selling a ticket. They also deal with planning schedules for customers and helping them reach their destination via the best route and at the lowest cost. Ticketing agents must be familiar with schedules and be able to answer questions about travel times, connections and layovers.
Other duties include helping passengers who missed a flight or connection to re-schedule their travel plans and get them to their destination as quickly as possible. Ticketing agents often are the first people to handle your luggage. When you check in at the airport, ticketing agents weigh your luggage and then take it from you so it can be sent down to the baggage handlers.
Ticketing agents must display patience in stressful situations because traveling can bring out the worst in people. The best ticketing agents can solve problems quickly and easily placate angry customers. Because people travel at all times, ticketing agents should expect to work at any hour, including nights, weekends and holidays. Most travel companies require their ticketing agents to be well-groomed and well-dressed. Ticketing agents need the equivalent of a high school diploma before being considered for the job.
Possibilities for Advancement
There is not much upward mobility for a ticketing agent. In some situations, they may be promoted to supervisors or sales representatives. Some of them even move on to become flight attendants.
Pay and Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, ticket agents and travel clerks averaged $34,710 per year as of 2013. The BLS predicts a 3 percent loss of jobs for ticket agents between 2012 and 2022, compared to a 11 percent increase for all occupations. The Internet is making booking your own travel arrangements easier, thus reducing the need for ticketing agents. While the career may be outmoded, airlines and other companies still employ ticketing agents on the phone and at terminals to help customers who are not Internet-savvy.