So, you’ve decided you want to pursue your passion for travel as a career as an independent travel agent? With all the support and training we offer, getting started with Outside Agent Link is easy for beginners. However, everyone can use a little head start. That’s why we’ve put together a short glossary to help you understand some of the terms, acronyms, and abbreviations you’ll come across as you start your career as an independent travel agent:

Host Agency – A host agency is a company that provides smaller, independent travel agencies with booking services, marketing tools, supplier contacts, sales leads and more in exchange for a portion of the travel agents commission or an annual fee. Outside Agent Link is a host agency.

IATAN Card – International Airlines Travel Agent Network Card, the most widely accepted identification card provided by IATA, the International Air Transport Association, that distinguishes you as a verified travel professional. Outside Agent Link members can attain an IATAN card after proving they have earned a minimum of $5000 in commissions paid to them by Outside Agent Link within a 12 consecutive month period and working at least 20 hours per week as an Independent Travel Consultant.

CLIA Card – Sometimes referred to as an EMBARC ID, an identification card provided by CLIA, the Cruise Lines International Association, that distinguishes you as a verified travel seller. Outside Agent Link members who have been paid a minimum of $2000.00 in commission within the calendar year and met the criteria and fees established by CLIA can enroll and get their CLIA card.

Travel Niche – An area of expertise or specialization chosen by a travel agent to focus on. This niche could be a certain destination, form of travel, a certain demographic or a number of other specifications. A travel niche can be broad or very narrow.

Travel Supplier – A company that provides travel services to the general public, such as an airline, cruise line or hotel chain.

FAM Trips – “Familiarization trips” or FAM trips are low cost or free trips provided by travel suppliers or operators to travel agents so they can better sell their travel services to their clients. In order to attend a fam, we require agents to have been members for a minimum of 90 days and have earned a minimum of $500.00 commission during their current active membership.

E&O Insurance – Errors and Omissions Insurance, A form of liability insurance that protects anyone who sells services for a fee, such as independent travel agents. Outside Agent Link does have Errors and Omissions insurance but strongly suggest agents obtain their own E & O coverage.

GDS – Global Distribution System, a GDS is a network that allows travel agents to access travel data, compare ticket prices and book travel reservation on one platform. Outside Agent Link provides free access to their GDS for their agents.