How to become a flight booker and travel agent

How to become a flight booker and travel agent

Mama Africa Orange (blatently not her real name, but she felt like venting some spleen and thought it would be cool to do it incognito) spills the beans on how mind-shredding and unglamourus it can be working in the tourist industry…

Name: Mama Africa, orange? (yes one of those nights!)

Career title:

Flight executive to the stars (well, I sold a ticket to XXXX once)

Full-time/part time:

Part time? what’s that then?

How long have you been doing this?

Organising peoples holidays? Always – mine, family, friends, colleagues so I thought I may as well get paid for it (even if it is minimum wage)

Training duration:

Half an hour – you think I’m kidding?

Work experience needed:

A low IQ and alot of bullshit – “Yes, it’s a fantastic 5* luxury hotel on the beach” (Yes, that would be the 2* flea pit in the mountains then?) – just hit those targets, sell sell sell!


What, mine? Jack of all trades, master of all trades of course…


Not enough to actually travel – even with the special travel staff deals. Huh? Remind me why I do this??

If you set up your own business, what’s the damage financially?

Good luck having to compete with the likes of the big b~*^@$?s you know all those package holiday companies who are now worldwide tailormade specialists? Mmmmmmmmm don’t get me started!!

Job perks:

Is that a trick question? I’m waiting to see the world!

What made you want to go into this profession?

Someone mentioned I would get to travel a lot? See above…

How physically or mentally demanding is the job?

If lifting a cup of coffee constitutes as physical, then very demanding. Mentally? Just ask my psychiatrist…

Long hours?

Flights are 24 hours, baby!

A flexible/bunk-off early job?

Flexible? Yeah, I bend over backwards for my customers. Bunk off? As in dash to the nearest shop for a sandwich to gobble at the desk in between making those sales?

Highlight of your career:

Winning an educational to an island in the Caribbean.

Downside of the job:

People calling up and booking holidays and not taking me with them – are they just winding me up?

Most hideous career moment to date:

Plenty of those – but one was telling someone their New Year trip to New York was no longer happening as the ticketing department hadn’t issued tickets on time – yep, that went down well!

Do you meet interesting people and if so, who …?

Stop there! No!

Danger factor:

Being strangled by a hands-free phone, caffeine overdose, a deformed back (they cant afford decent chairs…)

Opportunities for travel/work abroad with your career?

Well, that is asking the obvious…

Do you meet fit, clever, solvent blokes in your line of work?

Can you repeat the question?

Sexy uniform?

No need – see above.

Can you still see yourself doing this in 20 years’ time?

I can’t even plan tomorrow and my liver may not last that long 🙁

What advice would you give young women who are interested in this career path?

If you like a low wage, long hours, abusive clients, office politics and stress – then hell yeah!