If you have flown on a domestic or international airline, you have most likely had contact with an airline ticketing officer. This person is your first human contact with the airlines before boarding a flight. This position in the airline industry can be considered entry level with an emphasis on previous customer service experience.
Airline ticketing officers handle ticket sales for airlines at airports. They are often the first person to greet a customer who enters the airport. Ticketing agents are expected to be clean and neat in appearance in accordance with airline standards. Airlines often issue employees uniforms and badges for security purposes. Good communication skills are also important since the ticketing agent will deal with customers in every aspect of the position.
The only preliminary education for an airline ticketing agent is a high school diploma. Airlines have their own training facilities that usually consist of a week or two of classroom training followed by on-the-job training by shadowing an experienced ticketing agent. New agents begin by handling luggage and work up to handling seating assignments, completing ticket forms and reserving tickets for passengers.
Extensive customer service experience in a previous retail job or some type of sales position is a good starting place to gain the experience needed to work as an airline ticketing agent. Basic computer and typing skills are also needed navigate the ticketing system.
Airline ticketing agents check in baggage for most customers, so the ability to push, pull or lift 50 to 100 lb. frequently is required. Agents must be physically able to stand for the entire period of their shift and tolerate loud noise levels at times. Most importantly, airlines often experience bad weather and equipment malfunctions that change flight schedules and sometimes even cancel flights. The agent must be able to advise travelers of bad news about canceled flights, diffuse stressed customers and be prepared to solve customer problems (when possible) quickly as they arise.
Airline ticketing agents must be able to work varying shifts since airline ticket facilities are 24-hour businesses. You must be able to work shifts that include days, nights, holidays, weekends and sometimes overtime hours.
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