Ticket agents work at an airline’s ticket or baggage counter. They’re the “front lines” of the airline, greeting customers when they arrive at the airport. They check in luggage and make seat assignments. They also handle airline ticket sales, reservation changes, and provide information on aircraft boarding, including bad news such as flight delays and cancellations. Some ticket agents work at the airline’s offices off-site of the airport. Other ticket agents may work at the gate collecting tickets. Depending on the airline’s size, ticket agents may work at all of the above locations. When passengers need special assistance, it may fall to the ticket agent to take care of them.
Working in the airline industry is exciting, and many enjoy working with the public, especially in a role where they have the opportunity to help others. There may also be travel benefits associated with this job.
Because of the types of situations that can come up on a ticket agent’s shift, dealing well with sometimes impatient or angry customers can be a big part of the job. Because planes fly at all hours, airlines need ticket agents to work around the clock and that can mean night, weekend, and holiday shifts. Ticket agents are required to wear identification and a uniform. At times, they may have to lift baggage of 70 pounds or more.
Job candidates should have excellent verbal and written communication skills. They must present a professional appearance and should have experience working with the public.
A high school diploma or equivalent is required. Some airlines require a minimum age of 18 or older.
The airline usually provides training for ticket agents.
Salary and Benefits
$13.51 per hour, $28,100 per year (http://online.onetcenter.org/link/summary/43-4181.02)
$10-$22 per hour (http://www.youngeagles.org/careers/airlines.asp)
Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks: $36,280 (https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes434181.htm)
Benefits usually include paid vacation, dental and life insurance, sick leave, retirement plan, free or reduced airfare for employees and immediate family members.