What does a Ticket Agent do?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 27 November 2019
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A ticket agent is a travel professional who sells tickets, provides passenger information, makes seat assignments, and checks in luggage. Ticket agents work in airports, bus stations, train stations, and major transit centers, and they are sometimes said to be working on the “front lines” for their employers, because they are the first people passengers interact with. Working as a ticket agent does not require any special educational qualifications, but it does require a very level temperament and the ability to work with diverse people, including people with language barriers or cognitive impairments which hamper communication.

Also known as travel clerks or gate agents, ticket agents sell tickets to passengers who do not yet have them, discussing travel plans with the passengers and selecting tickets with the most suitable itinerary. They may also make cancellations and changes by request, issuing refunds or collecting additional fees as needed. Ticket processing can also include tasks like selling standby seating and collecting funds for luggage which goes over the baggage allowance.

In addition to selling tickets, ticket agents also check in incoming passengers. Check-in may be as simple as examining a ticket to confirm that it is valid, and pointing a passenger in the right direction for boarding. It can also include verification of identity, checks of travel visas, and luggage handling, with the ticket agent taking luggage which will be checked, tagging it, and passing it on to luggage handlers.


Ticket agents can also handle seat assignments in some areas of the travel industry, and they deal with passenger inquiries which vary from making arrangements for special meals to wondering if a flight is on time. Agents must also make announcements to keep passengers apprised of important information, such as delays, cancellations, and special security measures. Their work also includes networking with the crew on trains, buses, and aircraft to keep information up to date.

People can usually work as ticket agents with a high school diploma and basic training provided by their employers. The hardest part of working as a ticket agent is usually the customer service aspect of the job, because people can be very impatient while traveling, especially when there are delays. Customers with a sense of entitlement, a bad attitude, or complex needs can be challenging and sometimes infuriating to work with, and a ticket agent must able to keep cool under pressure, even from passengers who are entitled to nothing more than a lesson in etiquette, despite strident claims to the contrary.


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Post 3

Actually guys you're right, because I'm a ticket agent in my town and it's so hard because sometimes I've encountered many problems and the customer is always asking me the reason why it happened and I need to explain every detail to them.

And about the wage, it's not enough for me because it's a very low salary and no other benefits. I've been working as ticket agent for one year and four months but no salary increase. But I have nothing else to do because it's hard to find another job here.

Post 2

Ticket agents generally do not get paid much in the grand scheme of things, though it does pay pretty well considering you only need a high school diploma to do it. As with any job, wages depend on where you work and what airline employs you.

I read online that they generally make between $18,500 and $31,200 a year. Though most start at a modest $7.00/hr in the USA.

Ticket agents do tend to get some nice additional benefits though. They can usually secure free travel, as well as medical benefits and have access to a 401K.

I think that for the amount of education required, it would be a good start for someone trying to get in with an airline for a career.

Post 1

I think being a ticket agent is one of the tougher customer service jobs out there. While it may seem glamorous to work with an airline, I think keeping a smile on your face while dealing with grumpy passengers must be very difficult.

When I have waited for help at an airline desk, there are always passengers running late, and those with too much baggage complaining about fees. These poor ticket agents face the blunt of this angst day in and day out.

I hope that they get a decent wage for what they have to put up with. While those in any customer service field have to deal with unruly customers, I think that ticket agents really get worst of the worst.

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