1. Why did you change the name from Outside Agent Link?
We created this name because Outside Agent Link is so much more than a host agency. Outside Agent Link is a true Travel Network consisting of:
- A Host Agency
- An associate member of the world’s largest travel consortia, the Travel Leaders Network
- A division of Thomas Hogan Travel and Vacations
- A compilation of the greatest travel advisors (yes, that can be you too!)
- The best travel suppliers with established personal relationship
2. What is the cost?
The annual fee is based on the following 3 commission tiers:
80% – $299.00
75% – $249.00
70% – $199.00
3. Is previous travel advisor experience mandatory?
At the current time OAL is accepting enrollments from those wishing to start a their career in the travel industry, experienced advisors and everyone in between.
For those without experience, we like to advise you in advance, this industry is geared to a self-motivated entrepreneurial person. Our Support Team is here to guide you through booking engines, offer suggestions for suppliers and extend our personal travel knowledge. You must be willing to commit to yourself to self guided vendor trainings, certifications and live training opportunities in order to become a successful travel advisor.
4. What are the steps to joining?
Our enrollment process is very easy. Complete our “Enroll Now” form and the process will start immediately. Once we receive your request, our team will quickly review your information and arrange a time for a short, informal chat to be sure we are a good fit for each other and how you envision your travel business.
5. I live outside the United States, am I able to be an advisor?
Our program is only available to those advisors that reside full time in the continental US, Hawaii and Alaska. You must also possess a valid Social Security Number and/or Tax ID, as well as, a US-based bank account.
1. How am I paid the commission?
Via Direct Deposit on the 15th of the following month in which the commission is received. For example, a commission received on January 1st will be paid on February 15th.
No minimum commission amount is required for a deposit to be issued.
2. Am I able to track my commissions?
Access to our real time commission tracking system online through the Advisor Access on our website. You will have access to:
- View commissions as soon as they are posted
- Run reports to track your sales
- Research unpaid commissions
- Set up commission alert notifications
- AND more….
3. When do suppliers pay commission?
This question has several answers:
- Most cruise lines pay commission about 21 days AFTER the final payment has been processed. In this case, you will receive the commission prior to your client traveling.
- The majority of Tour/Land suppliers pay commission 14-21 days AFTER the client has returned from their vacation.
- Car and Hotel reservations are paid after the client has either returned the rental car or checked out of the hotel. These commissions tend to take the longest to receive. The normal processing time is between 30-60 days. It is for this reason, we recommend booking packages inclusive of flights, car and/or hotel.
- Airline reservations that are booked and ticketed through our online GDS system will have a service fee automatically added. You will receive a commission from the service fee with your next commission payment.
- Group reservations, either cruises or tour packages, are not paid until after the group has traveled. The payment is usually initiated 30 days from the group’s return.
4. How are my bookings tracked?
After making a reservation, you will need to log into the Advisor Access section of the OAL Travel Network website. There is a section for you to report sales. You will enter the sales information in 6 short, simple entries and it will interface directly to our accounting system. Yes, it is that simple – no long, dreadful, time consuming process.
5. I've read that airlines are not paying commission anymore...how do I make money selling airline tickets?
All airlines have eliminated the commission they pay to travel agencies. Therefore, we don’t encourage perspective advisors to enter this business with the sole purpose of selling airline tickets. You will make far more money (with much less effort) booking vacation packages (inclusive of airline tickets), escorted tours and cruises. When you do engage with a client who wants an airline ticket, we add on a booking fee to the cost of the ticket which is commissionable to you. This is a standard industry practice regardless.
1. What qualifications are required to attend a fam or obtain a travel advisor rate?
In order to attend a fam or obtain a travel advisor rate we have established the following criteria:
- Agency will be eligible to apply after 90 days of active enrollment.
- Agency has been paid a minimum of $1000 in your commission split within a 12 month period of your current membership period.
- All requests must be submitted in writing to OAL to an authorized representative of OAL for approval.
- Membership status must be current and in good standing.
Please note: Not all requests are approved even if the above requirements have been met. OAL takes a number of factors into consideration.
2. Do you provide E&O Insurance coverage?
Yes, our agency does carry Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance. However, we strongly suggest you obtain your own E&O coverage. Please note if you will be operating as an LLC, you are required to maintain your own individual E&O policy.
3. What are the requirements for an IATAN card?
The only way to obtain an IATAN card is to prove you have earned a minimum of $5000 in commissions paid to you by OAL Travel Network within a 12 consecutive month period and you must work at least 20 hours per week as an Independent Travel Consultant. This is a regulation set forth by IATAN and one that we STRICTLY adhere to. This guideline is put in place to ensure the integrity of the travel professionals in the industry. The benefit is exclusively for those advisors who have proven success. IATAN also states you must continue to earn the commission standard or your membership cannot be renewed.
4. Am I able to enroll in CLIA and receive a CLIA Identification card?
Yes. We offer enrollment to CLIA to all our advisors who have been paid a minimum of $5000.00 in commission in cruise sales within the calendar year. CLIA has established certain criteria and fees associated with a membership. You would be responsible for following these guidelines and paying the fees directly to CLIA. Our support team will assist and provide you the step-by-step instructions.
1. How do I know which travel supplier to book for the best commission?
Through our association with the Travel Leaders Network, you will be provided the information on our Preferred Suppliers. Booking reservations with the Preferred Suppliers are going to ensure you the highest percentage commission the supplier pays. You are not restricted to book ONLY our Preferred Suppliers. Booking with a supplier that is not preferred will still earn you the same commission split but non-preferred suppliers pay a lower commission percentage. We don’t penalize advisors by lowering their commission earned when booking a non-preferred supplier.
2. Is it possible to compete with the big name online travel agencies such as Travelocity, Priceline, etc.?
It’s very simple actually. We have access to vendors that will price match what your client can find online. One of Support Team Advisors will assist you with the process. Also, some online travel agencies work with travel advisors and pay commission too!
3. Do you provide a consumer based booking engine so my client can book travel and I will receive the credit?
We do not provide a consumer-based booking engine. Our belief is not to drive the consumer to the internet to make reservations, simply use the internet for research but rely on the knowledge and value a professional travel advisor can provide when booking their dream vacation.
4. What marketing options are available?
Through our partnership with the Travel Leaders Network, you can participate in marketing program which will provide you the ability to send emails to your clients. These emails will be branded with your name and contact information for the call to action.
1. Do you offer a training and/or mentoring program?
YES!!!! We have a dedicated staff member who is available to you for one on one trainings, mentoring and any advise needed for booking travel. There is no charge for this service. OAL is committed to helping you build your travel business and become a successful travel advisor.
2. What support is offered after I have joined?
Shortly after joining you will be contacted by one of our Support Team members to arrange a time for a Welcome One on One. During this call, we will highlight important sections of the OAL Network Travel website, Agent Universe (Travel Leaders Network Agent Portal) and show you some supplier booking engines based on the types of vacations you are interested in booking.
OAL will continue to offer you professional support should questions arise or need assistance booking reservations via email, phone calls, webinars or our private Facebook Group.
3. How do you know I am the booking advisor when confirmations are received from suppliers?
There are 2 ways we are able to determine the booking advisor:
- When making reservations, it is very important to provide your name AND your unique advisor number to the supplier (i.e. Mary1234). We have several advisors with the same first name, therefore, when using your unique number, we are able to determine the correct advisor when we receive booking confirmations.
- After you complete the reservation, immediately report the sale. Reporting the sale lets us know who booked the reservation.
1. Do you offer a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool?
YES! However it is not a part of our membership but we are more than willing to assist you with the contact information and you can decide if it is worth your investment.
2. Will I have to purchase any special software for my computer to book travel?
No. You will be provided a log-in and password for the Advisor Access section of the OAL Travel Network website. Our website will provide you information on our Preferred Suppliers and access to:
- Our web-based GDS booking engine
- Commission tracking information
And the list goes on!
3. Do I use YOUR name or MINE for my business?
You have the option to choose:
- You may use YOUR business name and information on a business card of your own design. You are an independent contractor affiliated with us. If you need help in coming up with a name for your business, we can offer suggestions. Most people have no problem thinking of a name for their business. Just be absolutely sure the name you choose is not already in use by someone else. Our best suggestion is to keep it simple, easy to spell and remember. Avoid the use of “Net Lingo” by combining letters and/or numbers to create a word. For example: Trvl4u2moro
- You may opt to have business cards with the Travel Leaders Network logo and must be obtained through the OAL Travel Network. There are licensing restrictions that must be adhered to.
4. Does the state I reside in have Individual State Requirements and Licensing?
OAL Travel Network is registered with the states requiring a Seller of Travel License. It is up to you, as the advisor, to check with your local and state municipalities for any laws or requirements set forth for an Independent Contractor selling travel.