Even though the airlines are in business to transport people from one place to another, they could not function without the help of many people on the ground, including those who take reservations and sell tickets, as well as those who help keep the airplanes operating on schedule.
Sales position can range from selling to the weekend recreational flyer to corporate flight departments of Fortune 500 companies. Sales can range from inside sales making cold calls to outside sales with frequent travel. Sales representatives must answer customer questions about products and services, provide outstanding customer support and service.
Sales representatives or account executives explain to prospective customers the advantages of their company's service for travel and shipment of cargo. They also maintain contact with travel agencies, businesses, and educational institutions, as well as with other airlines to increase interline sales. Sometimes they make hotel reservations for customers. A knowledge of flight and fare schedules is essential.
Sales representatives work business hours and wear business attire.
Typical Requirements and/or Experience
A college degree with courses in air transport management is desired. Applicants must be aggressive, yet personable. They must show initiative and be willing to relocate. The ability to speak persuasively and convincingly is necessary. International airlines may require foreign language ability. On-the-job training is provided. NOTE: Some airlines hire college students for training in sales promotion during the summer vacation. On their return to college, the students become campus representatives for the airline, contacting other students and faculty members to acquaint them with the airline's special service and holiday opportunities. These part-time jobs often lead to full-time employment in sales positions after the students graduate from college.
Successfull sales representatives are independant, highly motivated, posess a strong and competitive sales drive with a "can-do" attitude and commitment to excel. They are able to handle multiple tasks, have proficient knowledge of computers, and strong verbal, written and interpersonal communication skills.
A college degree with courses in air transport management is desired. Courses in psychology, public speaking, and salesmanship are helpful.
Married and unmarried men and women, with or without children are eligible. Persons who are widowed or divorced, also are eligible.
It is the policy of most aviation companies to provide equal employment opportunity to all individuals regardless of their race, creed, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, military and veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law. Most aviation companies are strongly committed to this policy, and believe in the concept and spirit of the United States law.
Most aviation companies are committed to assuring that:
All recruiting, hiring, training, promotion, compensation, and other employment related programs are provided fairly to all persons on an equal opportunity basis without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, military and veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status or any other characteristic protected by law;
Employment decisions are based on the principles of equal opportunity and affirmative action;
All personnel actions such as compensation, benefits, transfers, training, and participation in social and recreational programs are administered without regard to race, creed, color, sex, age, national origin, disability, military and veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status or any other characteristic protected by law, and;
Employees and applicants will not be subjected to harassment, intimidation, threats, coercion or discrimination because they have exercised any right protected by law.
Most aviation companies believe in and practice equal opportunity and affirmative action. All employees are responsible for supporting the concept of equal opportunity and affirmative action and assisting the company in meeting its objectives.
Most aviation companies maintain Affirmative Action Plans for minorities, women, disabled persons and veterans.
EEOC has jurisdiction of the prohibitions against employment discrimination codified in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Civil Rights Act of 1991. These laws prohibit discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age and disability.
The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) and the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) enforce the prohibitions against federal employment discrimination codified in the CSRA. The OSC will defer those bases of discrimination under EEOC's jurisdiction to the respective federal agency and its EEO process. The CSRA also prohibits employment discrimination in the federal government based on marital status, political affiliation and conduct which does not adversely affect the performance of the employee, none of which are within EEOC's jurisdiction. Moreover, the law defines ten other prohibited personnel practices in the federal government, all of which fall under the jurisdiction of the OSC and the MSPB. See Prohibited Personnel Practices at http://www.osc.gov/ppp.htm.
Additional information may also be found on the the EEOC web site located at http://www.eeoc.gov/
Opportunities for Advancement
Sales representatives may advance to the position of a district or regional sales manager.
Outlook for the Future
The aviation industry has gone through periods of tremendous success and innovation, and periods of intense challenges. Today, aviation plays a critical role in our economy and the future of aviation will depend on business and personal travel, aviation fuel costs, and government subsidy and intervention.
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