First Class

Avoya Travel, an American Express Travel Representative

292 reviews
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All Reviews

292 reviews
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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
April 30, 2018

Love My Job!!!! Avoya has the technology and tools to enable us to succeed in a great business. Work at home, do as much or as little as you want. Your Income is your own decision. No boss looking over your shoulder. No arguments with colleagues in a cubicle next to you Create great relationships. The ability to travel. Theres more

April 25, 2018

I think one of the greatest aspects about Avoya is the cohesiveness of the Independent Agents and Avoya's mechanism to help them connect. I honestly don't think I would have made it this far without the support in the Community Forum. Avoya promotes a professional relationship among the agents, allowing new IA's like myself to learn from seasoned veterans.

As well, the support offered by the Avoya team is also simply amazing. Whether it's the Mastermind team with the opportunity to grow your knowledge, or the support personnel who work with us in ever aspect of the client or trip, everyone is top notch!

April 13, 2018

I love this company. The support, training and service is fabulous! I've just referred two other independent agents and one has joined, the other is in the process. Thanks AVOYA, exactly what I was looking for!

April 13, 2018

Although I have traveled extensively my whole life selling travel was all new to me. Avoya has been great for someone coming into this without a travel agent background. The learning & support especially since joining the Master Mind group has been key to getting me to where I am. I researched and considered a number of host agencies and am glad I chose Avoya. My advice to any new IA would be to not measure yourself by others. Although you will never stop learning there is a lot to learn just to get up to speed. Days of frustration & a large time commitment for learning is overwhelming at first but by 6 months there will be less doubt. Be patient. Also give yourself a break by not trying to learn to many vendors at once.

April 13, 2018

All the support that I received is invaluable to someone new to the industry. Everyone is very caring in answering questions and all the webinars helped me learn all aspects of travel.

March 30, 2018

The resources you provide to each and every IA is second to none. I don't have enough words to express my gratitude to this company for its unparalleled level of professionalism and expertise. You are a host agency's host agency: You listen, adapt, and implement. I have only been in the Avoya network for 60 days, and I wish I knew you sooner. I thank God for Avoya Travel!

March 30, 2018

I love the accessibility of the Avoya Network and how I may be in business for myself but not by myself. I love that there is a support group out there at the main offices and the Mastermind program is fabulous! I've been with them for over 10 years now and looking forward to many more years to come!

March 20, 2018

I've been with Avoya for over a year and my experience has been terrific. It was easy to set up my business and affiliate with them. Their live lead system is great. Yes, you will get leads that have no interest, but so do brick and mortar stores. People browsing and gathering information. That is were your sales technique kicks in. It gives you ample opportunity to sharpen your approach to selling travel. I've spoken with other agents here at Avoya and their business took off immediately while others it took some time. My biggest success has been on the repeat client. Ultimately, it's up to you if you succeed or fail. Avoya tries to offer you all the tools - take advantage of it. I'm very grateful for what Avoya has been able to offer me.

March 19, 2018

Lots of available training, resources, and accessibility, and the live leads program.

March 19, 2018

Hi, I just wanted to tell you all a little bit about my experience with this company. I also want to point out that most of these good reviews were just days in between and most clustered all on the same day, as seems to be a pattern if you go through them all, that should be a red flag for anyone reading them.

My husband and I both signed up with them a couple years back. Some background, we have both been business owners of several very successful brick and mortar businesses, not travel but in another industry. And sold all at top capacity and top dollar. Those businesses are still in business and doing well with the foundation and training we left them with. We currently own a business that is doing very well to the point where we won several awards from our franchise. Both of us are educated people and know business.

From the very beginning it was a nightmare. When we filled out our business forms which were simple and ones we have filled out many many times for our other businesses we were told they were filled out incorrectly. One was a direct deposit form, W9 Reference Form and the last was a credit card authorization form. My husband got asked to redo his approximately 15 times and I was asked to redo mine close to 30 times, all in Docusign, until I started taking screen shots and sending them to the person handling this piece of the business, knowing the forms were filled out correctly. Then suddenly they were fine. This was done by a woman named Melissa who I think was just abusing what little power she had. We have filled these forms out in our careers more times than I can count and can do them in our sleep. Apparently this is a problem because the president of the travel school we went to told us to watch for those forms, that apparently they were very "hard to fill out".

You can't schedule your training until the forms are filled out so my husband got his date first and mine was several days later. I was sitting in on his training on our computer in our living room and when the trainer realized I was watching with him and it wasn't my training date they said I would have to leave the room. In my own home. On my own computer. Completely ridiculous. I thought I would go through training twice and they should have been glad I was willing to do that. Of course I didn't leave.

The tech, when it worked was awesome. Like I said, when it worked. The so-called live leads shouldn't be confused with viable leads. They were just people that had to sign up to look at the deals on the website. Almost none were ready to make a decision. Despite that, I sold my first cruise my first week. My commission on that was $25 by the time they got their cut and I spent a lot of time on it. My brother in law had signed up to look at deals some time before I was with Avoya and wanted to use me to book any future cruises and they wouldn't allow me to have his business as business I brought with me and wanted to pay me as if he was a live lead provided by them which is a drastic difference. He doesn't even remember signing up with them. My advice to him was go directly to the cruise company. They cruise 5-8 times a year, it would have been smart for them to do the right thing.

I then sold another cruise, a rather expensive European cruise and again, I didn't make nearly what I should have given the time I spent on it. Then I booked a third cruise, again European, and I never received ANY of my commission on any cruise I booked. Did I call and try to get my money? No. We only got into this because we thought it would be fun and we would get discounts on travel. My experience during the forms incident, and the poor treatment by Jennifer Anderson who I begged to help with that situation told me it was going to be a fruitless effort. So I walked away. I think the problem was that there was a another company with the same name as mine under their umbrella which they failed to mention or I would have picked another name. In fact, they didn't even know, I had to call their attention to it.My husband got such a bad taste in his mouth because of the first few encounters he never even tried to sell anything. We were both charged separation fee's even though he never went beyond the training.

In closing, I think the training was ok, the tools were ok, the tech was good when it worked but the management is absolutely terrible. You absolutely have no recourse if something goes wrong and had I gotten paid, the compensation was terrible. Which also factored into my decision to not take them to task for not paying me. It simply wasn't worth it. I would definitely go somewhere else.

Host Agency Response
March 21, 2018

Hi Jamie,

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

We would be happy to address the issues you referenced, however, we have never had an Independent Affiliate with the name Jamie Smith, so it's a bit hard to reply to the specifics above.

From some of the comments above this seems to go back quite a few years. Filling out business forms correctly is certainly something we would expect from any business owner. If it took thirty times to fill out a few basic forms, perhaps that should have been a red flag to all of us from the start that this relationship was not going to end well.

I think it is fair to say that Avoya is not for everyone. I am glad that you found a partnership that is working out for you now.

Why are host agency reviews clustered on or around the same day? Well it's not really a sinister reason as suggested above. Every week we survey our agencies who have just hit their first sixty days with Avoya or are about to renew with Avoya. For any of you who are familiar with NPS Surveys you know how important the ongoing measurement of your service levels are and how valuable the feedback is. As part of this survey process we also ask our agency owners to post reviews on this site as well. No different than you probably do on your own website with your customer reviews.

I appreciate your fairness in pointing out what you thought was good about Avoya Travel. The staff at Avoya works hard to help the Independent Agencies in the Avoya Network and is very proud to be voted by travel professionals as the ‘Best Host Agency’ for the last four consecutive years. Avoya is a family owned and operated company that traces its roots back more than 50 years ago. From humble beginnings, the company has evolved into what today is known as the #1 Host with an elite and very successful network of independent travel professionals. We are known for having a reputation built on Integrity and Professionalism™ and will never quit striving to better serve Independent Agencies like yours.

I wish you all the best of luck in the future.

Steve Hirshan
Senior Vice President of Sales Support
Avoya Travel

Review Avoya Travel, an American Express Travel Representative

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