Why do people choose us? We encourage you to do your homework, ask lots of questions, and discover for yourself. You’re very welcome to contact us with your unique questions, or to get an Info Pack. In the meantime, here are some of the most common things people want to know, broken down into the following areas:
AGENCY OWNER / MANAGER FAQs
Why should I consider swapping owning or managing my traditional agency for becoming an MTA - Mobile Travel Agent?
It’s the perfect solution to being tied down to long hours, late nights and weekends with little or no rewards. If commission cuts and rising operation costs are taking their toll, and you spend more time on back office admin than client service, find out why others who were in your situation and have joined us now say they wish they’d done it years ago. You can:
- Reduce stress, knowing you have full access to the MTA Support Team
- Be more competitive with our buying power, affiliations and exclusive deals
- Decide which suppliers you want to book
- And finally take the family and agent specials, without the guilt
CORPORATE AGENT FAQs
I’m a corporate consultant/manager. How would becoming an MTA - Mobile Travel Agent benefit me?
It’s too hard to list the benefits! We’ve included a few here, but the best is to contact us for an Info Pack for more details about how your corporate clients will think you’re a superstar once you join the MTA - Travel Agents.
- online booking engines that search multi-GDS and web fares, giving corporate travelers unparalleled choice and control over their trips, while complying within their company’s travel policies.
- New products, detailed reporting and easier ways of transacting your travel business.
- Amazing buying power and affiliate programs (Virtuoso and Travelscene American Express Corporate) for better corporate rates and exclusive products deals.
- Our association with American Express means card members can use Membership Rewards TM points to pay for any travel.
- Our Virtuoso Membership can assist you and your corporate clients with access to more than 150 ground destination management companies in over 75 countries.
- Essential travel product access at preferential rates: car rental, insurance, visa services, foreign exchange, city guides
- Access to a full range of templates used by American Express to win corporate business.
- Access to hard-to-get tickets to sporting events and shows.
- Access to your commissoin/tax invoice system with full reporting.
- Assistance with presenting corporate proposals to win New Business.
- Plus much more including all the ticketing and support benefits we off all our MTA - Mobile Travel Agents (see other FAQs).
LEISURE TRAVEL AGENT FAQs
I sometimes have clients with unusual or irregular travel requirements. As an MTA - Mobile Travel Agent what would I be able to offer these clients?
MTA accesses corporate fares, Private fares, WOMO’s, Cruise netts and Wholesale airfares via self plate and national ticket consolidation. Talk to us about your special needs… we even handle celebrity and entertainment travel and freight!
Does MTA have access to any Loyalty Programs to benefit my clients when making their travel bookings?
As MTA is a Travelscene American Express member, should your client be an Australian, hold an American Express Proprietary Card or is a member of Membership Rewards, you’re able to redeem points for your client towards flights, hotels, packages, cars and tours, anytime, anywhere…with no travel restrictions! Points for travel cash.
I have some ‘luxury’ clients in my existing database. If I become an MTA - Mobile Travel Agent do I have access to any exclusive offers or deals to cater for these clients’ needs?
MTA is one of only around thirty (invitation only) Virtuoso Members in Australia. As an MTA - Mobile Travel Agent you automatically become a member too. You’re able to offer your clients unique and rare travel opportunities and exclusive amenities not otherwise available. These may include complimentary room upgrades at booking, early check in or late check out, preferred rates, airside customs transfers, special dining experiences, exclusive shore excursions when cruising, onboard ship receptions, custom itineraries and local concierge services from over 1000 of the world’s best travel providers and destinations. (By the way, our online private social network also lets you ask your colleagues to find out what’s hot in terms of shopping, restaurants, travel tips and more so your special clients will always be up with the latest.)
FINANCIAL & ADMINISTRATION FAQs
When I join MTA, what’s the contract commitment?
Our agreement is compliant with the Franchising Code of Conduct to provide all MTA Members complete peace of mind.
The term of the agreement is five years, however after the first twelve months you are free to give one months’ notice.
We have consultants who’ve been with us for more than 10 years and we know you’ll be happy,
so we don’t feel the need to tie you into long-term or restrictive contracts.
Will l need to provide my own professional indemnity insurance? If so, what’s the cost?
There’s no additional cost. MTA provides professional indemnity insurance for all members and you’re protected under our policy.
Will I need an Australian Business Number (ABN)?
Yes, you’ll need an ABN number and register for GST. This is very easy to obtain and can be done online. MTA is even registered with the ATO as a BAS agent and can do your quarterly Business Activity Statement (BAS) reporting for you if you choose.
When I join MTA how will commission on my bookings be handled? What’s in it for me?
MTA pays you 100% of commission and booking fees. 30% is paid back to MTA resulting in a 70/30 split in your favour. All of the administration is transparent and handled for you by the MTA office.
MTA always offers the very best overall proposition for mobile travel agents and strives to free your time from administrative work so that you can focus on your clients and product knowledge. We’re structured to offer you and your clients the significant benefits of our strong respected affiliations, with no additional or hidden costs. Arguably, MTA boasts the highest client satisfaction and real commission yield in the model. Please see our commissions page for more details.
What are my ongoing costs with MTA?
When you sell a 12 months minimum of $50,000 in gross commission, there are no ongoing costs. Below that level, there’s a small account maintenance cost of $150/month +GST.
If I choose to join MTA how often will my commission be paid to me?
We understand that time is money and your personal cash flow is important to you! Commission on your bookings is paid after each ‘trip file’ is closed and we pay commission twice each month. We don’t wait for travel to be completed or even commenced.
As an MTA - Mobile Travel Agent are there any targets I will need to reach or incentives for me to aim for?
There’s no pressure from us - you don’t need to reach any specific targets or KPI’s. You are ‘your own boss’ and are able to set your own goals. But we’re always happy to help you achieve your best.
Is MTA part of the new industry body operated by AFTA?
MTA is a founding member of the AFTA Travel Accreditation Scheme (ATAS) which is now the mark of industry quality. This scheme requires agencies to meet certain criteria before being awarded accreditation. MTA meets all costs for participation and there is no cost to you. The criteria comprises:
- Meeting the definition of a “Travel Intermediary”.
- Abiding by the Charter and Code of Conduct.
- Adhering to Australian Consumer Law.
- Meeting annual compliance obligations.
- Having Commercial Safeguards.
- Maintaining and improving Workforce Development.
- Handling complaints consistently.
- Paying annual participation fees.
Is there any cost to me as a Mobile Travel Agent to be licensed with MTA?
At MTA do you offer any training opportunities?
Keeping our mobile travel agents updated and informed on the latest travel industry news, deals, product, industry trends, sales and marketing is exceptionally important to us. We provide you with all of the educational tools and knowledge you need so that you are adequately equipped to provide the best service possible to your clients. In fact, our belief in providing and assisting our mobile travel agents with key travel knowledge is so strong, we employ a national Training Manager to facilitate the variety of training options available to you.
When I join MTA how will I keep informed so that I can remain competitive for my clients?
We have regular regional or state meetings, workshops and conferences throughout the year to keep you informed about the latest industry trends, products, suppliers, sales and marketing assistance. As well as normal induction training, new and existing mobile travel agents are also welcomed to attend bi-annual workshops, which we conduct on the Gold Coast. This training assists in cementing the processes from our Virtual Office and gives you a chance to connect with the support team and your peers. A seasoned MTA consultant also addresses the meeting and shares their experiences. The National conference is yet another opportunity for you to learn from motivational speakers, your peers and industry leaders.
The Virtuoso Week conference is also a fun yet informative event held every year in Las Vegas. It is a rare chance for our mobile travel agents to meet the General Managers of high end hotels and to network with key personnel from the top cruise lines, on sites, tour operators and more to set you up in securing the best value and experience for your clients travel needs.
Alternatively, you can learn from your peers 24/7 on our online social networking site. Being plugged into this network of travel professionals ensures all our mobile travel agents get helpful, up-to-date travel reports and tips on hotels, destinations wholesalers and more.
If I choose to join MTA what kind of training do I have access to?
We conduct regular live and pre-recorded online webinars to assist you in growing your business. These cover current information on our full range of suppliers, airlines, destinations to the latest sales trends, information on changing markets or assisting you with tips on how to network. You can choose to either participate in live online webinars from the comfort of your own home or anywhere else with an internet connection convenient for you. Our Virtuoso membership gives 24/7 access to a huge range of webinars, videos and PDF’s containing sales and personal development modules – all the best destination information right at your fingertips!
Are there any other additional or exclusive training opportunities available to me if I join MTA?
MTA has been a corporate member of the Travelscene American Express network for over 11 years. As a member you get fantastic product and industry training invitations to airline and ship inspections, product evenings and road shows. Our affiliation with Virtuoso also comes with invitations to attend the exclusive Virtuoso Roadshow which features information about luxury hotels, ground operators and cruise lines. Virtuoso provides a set of four short training modules which assist you to navigate their intranet site. In addition, there are constantly updated sessions on the Virtuoso intranet site which furthers your knowledge on a whole new world of selling luxury travel.
What about Airfare training? Do I get any help with this if I need it?
MTA is a key collaborator in promoting and accessing Airfare training. You will have access to our Airfare guru’s Wotzup newsletter update covering all of the latest information about airlines. You will also receive access to the latest webinar updates from our airline partners, giving you first hand training and knowledge. In addition to this, you are invited to regular airfare training sessions in major cities.
Do you offer any educationals/famils?
We believe there’s nothing better than first-hand experience when it comes to recommending the best travel destinations to your clients. That’s why we have facilitated sending more than 100 consultants away on educationals during the last year. MTA has access to many fabulous up market and premium famils, some of which you can even take your partner. We also run exclusive educationals for our consultants, for example, a trip to Africa staying at 5 star resorts and games reserves. If you prefer to educate without the help of MTA we can also offer access to some very keen agent rates for yourself, your partner and your family.
TICKETING AND SUPPORT FAQs
Who issues the tickets once I’ve placed my bookings and who’ll look after reissues and revalidations? Will these cost me any extra?
MTA has its own ticketing team and can issue all tickets and then enter them into the back office system for you. We’ll either issue your tickets via our own internal IATA plate system or via Air Tickets.
We do not charge fees for issuing a ticket and we even look after all reissues and revalidations of tickets at no extra cost to you. More $$ for you!
Should I need help advising clients about airfares, especially the complicated ones, is there anyone who can help me?
Along with our back office support team you have access to our Fares Desk with an Airlines and Fares Operation Manager, ready to assist, all at no extra cost.
But what happens when I have a client who requests an urgent ticket or needs assistance after hours?
MTA Support Office offers 24/7 all year round emergency ticketing facilities for you to access.
Free of charge!
What happens when I go on annual leave, a holiday or a famil? Who’ll look after my clients while I’m away?
As an MTA - Mobile Travel Agent, you get back-up assistance
and support for yourself and for your clients to give you piece of mind while you’re away. If your clients need to make a new booking in your absence, we’ll make that booking on your behalf and you’ll still
receive your full commission! Just let the Support Office know when you’ll be away and leave the rest to the support team. Whether you need to take sick leave, a holiday, or a famil, or even if you have a client ring you
urgently and you’re nowhere near a computer, we can help you!
I don’t know how I feel about working from home. Will becoming an MTA - Mobile Travel Agent mean that I’m alone? Can I contact other
MTA - Mobile Travel Agents?
You’re never alone when you join MTA. We encourage you to be in contact with the Support Office. We also have an online private social network for you to chat and work with your
colleagues in real time. You’re always informed and up-to-date with the latest advice, product information, reports, educationals, videos and more! This network connects you with MTA - Mobile Travel Agents right around
Australia, to share information and ask as many questions as you like - just as if you were in an office. It’s an online community!
As an MTA – Mobile Travel Agent how much control do I have for the
bookings of my client contacts?
You have all the control when it comes to making your client’s bookings, the bookings are made via MTA’s systems – just like in any other travel agency’.
The difference with MTA, compared to a ‘traditional’ travel agency, is that you have access to a back office support team that is there is assist you use MTA’s systems. They take care of supplier relationships
and payments, back office client details and processing of tickets and accounts, leaving more time for you to focus on developing your client relationships. It’s a tried and proven system that has worked successfully
for us for more than 11 years. You’ll have time to focus on yourself, your partner, your family and of course on growing your business.
As an MTA – Mobile Travel Agent how are client’s issued
You will have access to SmartTickets, a system used by MTA. SmartTickets is an industry leading online ticketing technology platform offering Agents (MTA) guaranteed ‘no ADMs’* and 24/7
accessibility! It is a user-friendly ‘point and click’ method to complete ticketing, reissues, refunds and revalidations online.
You will also have access to name Your Own Price technology.
Contact us to find out more.
*Our ‘no ADMs’ policy does not apply to fax requests, fraudulent orders, incorrectly booked PNR’s and TTL expired orders.
SOFTWARE / SYSTEMS / TECHNICAL FAQs
As an MTA - Mobile Travel Agent how do I maintain my existing client database? Do I have to use or purchase particular software when I sign up?
MTA has developed software that is specifically designed to connect you with the support office, all systems and your client database. Our systems dramatically cut down on your non-income producing time. Existing MTA - Mobile Travel Agents have told us they are saving between 50% and 70% of their valuable time through the total booking process. It’s simple to learn and use, and constantly evolves and improves.
When I sign up with MTA do I need to change CRS?
No, you’ll have a choice of all three CRS systems - Amadeus, Galileo or Sabre.
How and when can I access my CRS and MTA’s Virtual Office?
You can access your CRS and MTA’s Virtual Office with a broadband Internet connection anytime, from anywhere in the world. Connect to Wi-Fi or 3G/4G data Internet on your laptop or smart phone and you’re away. Your CRS can be accessed from PC’s, Apple Mac’s, BlackBerry’s, iPhone’s, iPad’s, Android Phones and more…
Should I encounter any general technical difficulties on my computer is there anyone that can help me?
MTA provides 24/7, year round Level 1 IT Help Desk to support all our MTA - Mobile Travel Agents. There’s no such thing as a silly question. Don’t be embarrassed to ask if you get stuck in any way. Our team are very friendly and are here to help you.
What is the MTA - Mobile Travel Agents’ Virtual Office and how does it work?
The MTA - Mobile Travel Agents’ Virtual Office is your online connection to information, suppliers, commission tracking, downloads, links, private fares, trip files, procedures and much more. You’ll find everything you need in the ‘VO’.
As an MTA - Mobile Travel Agent do I have access to wholesaler booking engines such as CalypsoNet, Polar Online or any other wholesaler booking engines?
We’ll provide you with access to all the wholesaler online booking engines either directly via our Virtual Office or we will set up your own personal login and passwords.
Once my application is approved by how long does it take to get me set up?
It usually takes our Support Office less than five working days to have your CRS and sign-ons set up, and about 10 working days for you to receive your welcome kit and business cards. Our Installation Co-ordinator will ensure the set up procedure is as smooth as possible. She’ll spend approximately 2 hours with you in an uncomplicated phone introduction to our systems, which are very easy to pick up. The moment your application is approved we offer you the choice of ‘transitional bookings’ support while you’re being set up. You’ll receive the same commission split as you would have if you’d made the booking yourself!
If I’ve signed up to become an MTA - Mobile Travel Agent but would like to work in another part time role, can I do this?
Yes, as long as there’s no conflict of interest. Please discuss this with us beforehand.
Are there opportunities to meet the MTA Management Team and other MTA - Mobile Travel Agents face-to-face?
Yes, there are many opportunities to meet management and other MTA - Mobile Travel Agents. National conferences, State operational training, local cluster group gatherings and general business update meetings give you the chance to have fun, mingle and collaborate with your colleagues too.
If I join MTA, can I maintain ownership of my existing client database, and would MTA ever market to my clients?
Your client database will always remain yours and yours alone! All sales are made by our
MTA - Mobile Travel Agents and the office will never compete with you.
Also if you should leave for any reason, you take your database with you and retain any commissions.
If all sales are made by MTA - Mobile Travel Agents, why do you have a consumer website?
Potential clients who don’t yet have an MTA - Mobile Travel Agent are directed to find one. MTA’s consumer website is designed to direct enquiries via a proximity agent search filter and by specialisation.
As an MTA - Mobile Travel Agent am I really able to sell travel into space?
Yes, you can become a Virgin Galactic Mission Supporter with specialist training. MTA is one of just eight agencies in Australia appointed a Virgin Galactic Accredited Space Agent by Sir Richard Branson’s space tourism project. This puts you amongst a very select group of travel professionals.
Once I’ve signed up to become an MTA - Mobile Travel Agent how do l go about receiving brochures?
You order brochures you need online and they’re delivered directly to your doorstep.
As an MTA - Mobile Travel Agent how do I remain on the front foot with all the latest travel information for my clients? What tools are available to me at MTA to market to my existing and prospective clients?
To keep you in the loop and up-to-date with what’s going in travel, MTA conducts regular webinar sessions that you can watch live on your computer, or later at a time that suits you. These cover product, destination, skills training and operational updates. Plus you’ll receive daily industry updates of airline and supplier news, tips and invites to industry events. We also have cluster group gatherings through the year. There are regular airfare updates called the ‘Wotzup Newsletter’. These give you the facts in a very easy to read and fun format.
- Access to your very own purpose built, state-of-the-art personal website and client marketing system
- A free 1300 number with your own extension
- Daily and weekly specials to suit all clients from several sources including, but not limited to,
- MTA, Virtuoso and Travelscene American Express
- Marketing Templates for local area marketing
- Virtuoso Life Magazine subscriptions also presented as an eMagazine
- Virtuoso Life ‘Exclusive Product’ eNewsletter
- Virtuoso Escapes eNewsletter
- Virtuoso Power Cruise campaigns with upgrades or price edges
I would like to have a personal website to market myself more and not sure if I know whether to use Facebook or not?
Personalised individual websites are available to order. These are not just ‘business cards online’. They are fully functional websites in your name with your specialities and details and product content. To save you time, they are fully managed by the office, but can be edited by you through an easy to use Content Management System (CMS). To assist you grow your business, there’s also a cutting edge social media referral solution built in ... you don’t even need to be a Facebook user!