Did you know travel agents don’t get paid for booking DELTA tickets? + free Drinks!

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I have a friend who is a travel agent. I was shocked to learn that years ago the terms from all the airlines changed and they are not paid anything by the airlines for booking tickets. So think about that if you use their service and see a small charge. Now this is not the case outside the USA. There, agents can get paid.

Why bring this up? I was doing some research and I came across the travel part of Delta’s web site call World Agent Direct.

click on the photo to go to the site

Without actually being a travel agent you have limited access to the site and many of the links simply toss you back to the proper DELTA.com site. The AF site has almost nothing without access codes. But, in typical Italian style, there is a ton of info wide open on their site as you can see.

click on the photo to go to the site

Anyway – not much info here that will apply to us as day to day Delta travelers but I thought it would be fun to see what is out on the web when you know where to look! – René


So did you know travel agents are not paid by airlines? Answer YES or NO for a chance to win 2 free Delta drink/snack coupons  😉 – René

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  1. I don’t think that is the case, in general. While booking my ticket to Asia last year, my agent told me he get 9% commission on DL/AF/KL tickets to Asia. However, during peak season, DL/AF/KL pay zilch for tickets to Europe.

  2. Yes, hence why most started charging service fees per ticket. Though I believe most, if not all, hotel chains still do pay agents for room reservations.

  3. Definitely did not realize that. I just assumed travel agents had access to discounted fares and were paid to bring people to particular airlines.

  4. Yes, I knew…But doesn’t Delta offer Travel Agent’s perks like discounts, elite status, and other upgrades?

    Do they get a ticket discount like the ones that OTA’s get? If so, then by charging the full price, they do have a profit margin…

  5. The only way a domestic carrier pays a travel agent commission is if they negotiate a corporate discount with a company and agree to pay it on the back end, behind the scenes. (Even then, the company has to meet booking quotas in certain markets. And any commission is typically given back to the client, not kept by the ageny.) Most international carriers have done away with commission as well.

    Just as a side note, if your company has a negotiated rate at a hotel, the travel agency doesn’t get a commission on that either.

  6. I knew compensation was down but didn’t realize it was totally gone. If I was an agent, I would perhaps book through one of the mega sites and take my small affiliate commission from them at least.

  7. yep, knew this. My TA told me last year. He’s just booking flights for clients as a service, but neither gets a commission nor a discount.
    Still he was very helpful when changes needed to be made.

  8. yes, I think it change in the early nineties for the most part. I don’t even think the online booking engines like Expedia get any money for booking airline tickets.

  9. Yes, I remember when the change happened. Northwest was one of the first to yank the dough.

  10. Yes for USA.

    I had no idea other nations allowed it.

    What is the source of these contest giveaways?

  11. @Vincent – that would be me! I get the drink coupons and sky club passes from burning up my SkyBonus points and then share them with you. When readers use my Amazon links I get Amazon credit points that I can buy stuff and again share them here on the blog. Love it – Rene

  12. I did know that. So yes. Because in India they protested a few years ago with NWA got rid of the $10 “thank you for booking fee” to India travel agents

  13. Yes I had heard that which is why most travel agents don’t care much about booking flights but instead push “packages” that include hotel, etc…

  14. No, I didn’t know. That’s too bad because then maybe they would be more customer friendly.

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