If you haven't been logging on to or signing up for AgentNation to network with your peers about all things selling travel, then you've been missing out on some intriguing topics of discussion. Just take a look at this discussion which started this week, in which a home-based agent is seeking advice on whether to go through a host agency or to use one's own CLIA certification number when selling travel.
User DeMetrius asked:
I have been hom- based for about 5 years and I have been using a host agency for fullfillment. I want to get your opinion on gettin my own CLIA number for my agency. Benefits pros, cons or should I just pay the fee for indidivual travel affililation.
It didn't take too long for user starfish to reply:
I started out with a host agency & then decided to go on my own so that I would get 100% of the commission. The disadvantages that I've found is that 1. with most host agencies, they have IATA or ARC numbers & you can get your IATAN card a lot easier with them. This is especially convenient for getting agent rates & FAM trips as not everyone will take the CLIA card. 2. If you're goin to sell travel in certain states such as California or Florida (there's a few others), you need to acquire a seller of travel license which requires posting an outrageous bond. I believe that bond is also required for IATA or ARC numbers too.
I have been very happy with having my own CLIA agency even though I've missed out on some great agent rates. Good luck to you!
Which begs the question, do you agree with starfish that having one's own CLIA agency is worth missing out on deals instead of going through a host agency and potentially dealing with more work or issues?
Let us know your thoughts. We want to hear from you. Post a comment below. Join the discussion at AgentNation, send us a tweet on our Twitter page, or post a comment on our Facebook page. This is a great opportunity to enage travel professionals in an intriguing dialogue.