First Class

Avoya Travel, an American Express Travel Representative

291 reviews
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All Reviews

291 reviews
  • 5 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 3 stars
  • 2 stars
  • 1 star

Top Review

April 6, 2017
I am going to keep this relatively short which would be unusual for me so I wouldn't advise anyone to take bets on that! My team partner Tim Orlowski signed up with Avoya 7 years ago this past February. Tim was trained by me and also SABRE and CLIA back in 1990 when we opened a "brick and mortar" travel agency in San Antonio Texas named Anchors Aweigh Cruises and Tours. When he signed up he asked me if I would be interested in partnering with him and I wasn't wild about the idea of leaping back into the Travel Industry again. I started writing airline tickets for my Moms agency for allowance when I was a teen back in the early 1970s and then went on to get a degree in Hotel Administration with a concentration on Tourism and Travel so this is not new for me. Tim was working a full time job as an accountant in the Bay area and he was getting over surgery for cancer on his vocal chords so his voice was very raspy and he wasn't able to speak for long periods of time on the phone. I had just recently sold a business so I was kicking back and just doing real estate sales now and then. We both did the training of the system for 3 days back then and since Tim was working Monday to Friday, I figured I would try it since it was from home so nothing ventured nothing gained. We came into Avoya with quite a few of our own leads but I found clicking on the live leads was like being in a casino so I thought this could be fun. Well, from the hesitant player, I ended up working 8-10 hours a day. Tim would come home and find me at the computer on the phone. For anyone that says this cannot be done, just contact me or contact Avoya and they will share my success. We hit the 1 million mark easily in the first year. We stated the second year out so busy, that Tim quit his job as an accountant and started full time with Avoya with me. We went to our first Avoya Conference in June of the year we began and found out that we were "Rising Star". We won lots of awards and met so many fantastic people. I always say, if all of these amazing agents lived in my city, when I would have a dinner party, I would have to invite at least 100 people over . We have become true family. I grew up in this business and anyone that thinks that you will get a lead and sell that one and every other one you get, does not know this business. When we had our walk in travel agency, you won some and you lost some. That's the story of all businesses. The secret is persistence and talking with clients to get to know them ,their story and their wishes for a great vacation. Once you listen, then they will listen to your expertise and you will not only have a client for many years but many times a new friend. Every company has positives and negatives but I have to say, I get much inner joy working with this organization. The owners of the company are people that I can truly invite to dinner at my home and we would all enjoy each other and they would enjoy my cooking!!! If they didn't like it, they are too kind to tell me. Anyway, my guidance to anyone looking to join a host agency would be , whoever you choose to work with, don't blame them for your failures. Look within yourself and ask yourself if you put in 150% to clients and if you do, you will truly be a success. Looking forward to many more years with this fine organization. Stephen Solomon/ Travel by Tim and Steve
November 16, 2018

I have been an Independent Agent since NOV 2016, so 2 years. I have attended two conferences, San Bernardo and Long Beach in my two years. # 1 is a POSITIVE ATTITUDE from every support person, MasterMind team, IT, Accounting, Avoya University, Marketing and others all present themselves with full access to assist in every manner. Always the consummate professionals. This all starts with the Andersons who respects us like family. Thanks to them all. # 2 is AGENT POWER AP6 is by far the most outstanding software to use. Do you remember when GOOGLE EARTH first appeared and what a wow that was, AP6 beats it hands down. My previous company, American Express Centurion we handled 5 applications to do what AP6 handles in seconds. The way it cross functions, updates are accepted across windows already open. It is a life saver! It is a daily pleasure to have my business under Avoya.

October 26, 2018

The technology is cutting edge. The program is easy to do. The support and trainers are just the best there are. I came in to this industry completely at zero knowledge but in less than 3 mos I feel so confident and happy about being part of this organization. They give me the right kind of push to get me going and the everything else just falls in place. Very happy with my decision to join.

October 25, 2018

I have had great experience working as an independent agent with Avoya Travel. They have Live Leads which helps in increasing your business, and have an excellent support staff who will help you with any issues you may have in conducting your business smoothly. They have an educational course which helps you tremendously if you are new to the travel industry. Their affiliation with American Express gives a boost to the reputation of your company. I am happy to have selected Avoya Travel as my host agency.

October 23, 2018

The Avoya team is amazing! The marketing is wonderful. AP is fantastic....and has saved me from making some very costly mistakes. The training you get from Avoya and the mastermind team is incredible, and best of all there is no cost. I tried to do this on my own, but there was no way I could get my business up and running. After a brief 2-3 year break I came back and have loved Avoya every since. I will stay with Avoya until I decide to retire and travel full time. I love AVOYA!

October 23, 2018

They are very Knowledgeable about keeping you up to date with all the travel industry. Have lots of webinars.

October 22, 2018

About a year and a half ago the reviews on this website were key in my choice of a host agency, so I think it is only fair to also leave one for others.
I was close to spending a significant amount of money on a cruise franchise, when luckily someone who had been in the business suggested I check out Host Agencies. A google search led me to this website. After my research and with the help of the information on this site, I narrowed it down to about 4 or 5 and spoke personally with representatives from all of those.
Although I had sales experience I had no travel industry experience.
All around I am extremely happy with my decision to join Avoya. Great "professional development" (they don't call it training), great support, and commissions are paid quickly. My mother had worked in the business before with another company and it was always a battle for her to get her commissions. This is not the case with Avoya. When Avoya gets paid, I get paid quickly and correctly.
There are more leads through the Avoya live lead system than I have time to take ( or work effectively.)
Most importantly to me is through Avoya, I can often get my clients great deals and exclusive promotions.
I have no reservation recommending Avoya to others.

October 15, 2018

Avoya University professional development courses and the advice from Avoya staff via webinars is amazing!

October 15, 2018

In this company it's all about moving up as long as you put in your work. And they are all about helping you succeed. Because we don't treat this like a business we treat it like family and in return we get those customers coming back because they know they can trust we will get the job done and take very good care of them.

October 11, 2018

I will try to be as simple as possible. The Avoya Network is great or at least has been for me... why??? for my surprise after I joined the network I was able to book not 1 but multiple cruises per day (when connected to live phone leads) to the point I still have reservations all the way to 2020, of course I should give credit to myself as I guess I may be a good sales man..??? well, I don't consider myself a sales man at all and don't want to be, however, I do strongly believe that if you love what you do your customers can feel it so there you go... the result.. the sale (I do have 20 yrs of customer service experience and I am a world cruiser). When I signed up with Avoya I was aware of the 70/30 commission rule which was ok for me (this is not my main income) as they do a lot of marketing to get those leads... however... here is the issue and please pay attention. When a customer books a vacation with you they will call you back and want to talk to you and so do you, right??? That customer normally will have questions and may need to make changes, special requests, etc .. of what I call a "Maintenance Call" to their reservation... here we this point by the time you are done and customer go in their Vac... that 30% becomes like making $1.00 an hr or less sometimes as if you know this industry you can spend hours on the phone with the Vendors. Avoya call center does not help you at all with maintenance calls.... and WAIT... don't you dare to be unavailable... because if you are multiple times... let me tell you... DRAMA, DRAMA, DRAMA.... the call center/customer service line are instructed to open a "CSE" (Customer Service Event) to the agencies in the network and those CSE are bad for you... in my case and at this point I can say... the call center/customer service dept are in my "I don't like them"... they have opened on me so many CSE for even stupid minor things that don't even make sense...let me give you an example: Customer comes back from their cruise calls back to complain about their onboard acct....ONBOARD ACCT... that has nothing to do with the agency... guess what.. I got CSE... the other day... I claimed a live lead... I picked up the line.. couldnt hear the call center agent...she didnt call back.. there you go another CSE.... why is the call center doing all these..???? the answer is very easy management.... and the name of the manager is Steve Hirshan a very prepotent man and extremely PROPERLY RUDE... when I say properly rude.. I mean... he writes very nice but you can feel how prepotent he is by the way he expresses himself in writing.. you can actually even find replies from him in these reviews in which he uses caps on when replying to negative reviews (remember he is manager). I have never met Steve Hirshan neither never spoken with him on the phone and I have no desire to ever meet him or speak with him. Again, Avoya travel is great because of their leads but not because how it is managed, they have so much room for improvements. I was accused by Steve Hirshan that I booked an Avoya Customer with another company as I am affiliated with several major big companies (as I disclosed this since day 1). I explained to him that I did not book that customer, however, his reply once again as prepotent as he is... "yes you did... no confusion .. it is fact and I have no intention of offering you any further Avoya clients". One thing Steve Hirshan doesn't know is I am actually a network myself... and I did not book the customer in question but again... Steve Hirshan (God) is the manager so he has spoken. I really think in order for new agencies to keep making the Avoya Network as great as it is... Avoya Travel needs to get rid of Steve Hirshan... Avoya Travel/Netwwork is great because of their leads NOT because the way it is managed... leads generate income.. that's the bottom line so Steve Hirshan is not doing anything for those customers to call Avoya... the affiliated agencies are the ones who are performing the sale and with Steve Hirshan's management style is really a nightmare/road block to be within the Avoya Network. Avoya Travel/Network needs to revise their rules in commission and the call center/customer service should at least provide a little assistance to the agencies in the network, like taking payments or simple minor things which at the end help the affiliated agency and the customer. I am aware that we are Independent Agencies and that the call center doesn't work for us as I am sure that's what the prepotent Steve Hirshan will reply to this review... HOWEVER, Steve Hirshan.. our affiliation is no free of charge.. and the bottom line the one who will benefit the most on this is the Customer. Thank you!

Host Agency Response
October 15, 2018


Thanks for your feedback. We take all feedback very seriously in our ongoing efforts to improve the Avoya Travel Network™.

Avoya has a well-earned and long-standing reputation as THE host agency that’s all about Integrity and Professionalism™, THE host agency with the highest support levels and THE host agency with the most successful Independent Agencies. Even so, we’re not the ideal host agency for every independent agency and I think it’s fair to say from your comments that the Avoya Travel Network may not be a good fit for you and your independent agency.

Rather than address your claims detail by detail, I will instead point out that hundreds of other Independent Agencies who’ve posted their 5 Star reviews on this site have had an entirely different and very positive experience in the Avoya Travel Network.

If you would like me to setup a call with you, me and our Co-Founder, Van Anderson, to discuss your experience in detail please let me know.

Thank you,

Steve Hirshan
Senior Vice President of Sales Support
Avoya Travel

October 9, 2018

Excellent host agency, with incredible people supporting you and the best program for booking and invoicing. Prompt payment to agents.

Review Avoya Travel, an American Express Travel Representative

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