Liberty Travel and its parent company, Flight Center Travel Group, are launching a new brand for independent and home-based travel agents – although the new brand’s definition of “home-based” is quite expansive. Dubbed Independent by Liberty Travel, the new brand is aimed at travel consultants who wish to do “business where and how they choose,” according to a statement announcing the launch.
“Today’s mobile lifestyle has people living, socializing and working in all corners of the globe. It comes as no surprise that travel agents – with their deep passion for exploration and desire to deliver first-hand knowledge of as many places as possible – are the most mobile in their careers,” said Dean Smith, president, FCTG, the Americas, in a written release. “With today’s increasing fluidity in where we can work from – home, airplanes, coffee shops and beyond – and the need for flexibility and entrepreneurship, the advent of Independent by Liberty Travel lends itself to work-life balance that is relevant to both consultants and the customers they are servicing.”
Travel agents who are part of Independent by Liberty Travel will get commissions on sales, with up to a 90 percent commission split, as well as access to Flight Center Travel Group’s exclusive hotel, air cruise and tour partners, as well as access to tech support, marketing collateral, sales and operational support and financial services. The new brand will not charge agents fees for ticketing, invoicing, customer service or sales and support.
Additionally, starting in the spring, all members will have access to educational workshops, both as live webinars and self-guided online modules.
Liberty Travel has been a brick-and-mortar travel brand for over 65 years, and it has continued to expand its storefront locations. As recently as 2014 the brand opened a new flagship location in Philadelphia, shortly after launching additional locations in New York and Boston.
Liberty said that the launch of this new brand will address both the changing way in which people work, as well as the way in which customers shop for travel.
“We have always underscored the value of travel professionals; their know-how and first-hand expertise can never be duplicated by any form of technology,” said James N. Bovino, brand leader, Independent by Liberty Travel. “During travel disruptions due to weather or global events those who use a travel agent are seamlessly re-routed and rebooked, often before they are even aware their flight was canceled. Those who go at it alone can attest to being on hold for hours and then often turn to travel consultants to help with next steps. This network addresses a growing need for the expertise to navigate vacation planning before, during and after.”