Company Details

  • Founded
  • Host Type
    Host Only
  • Currently Accepting
    Beginner Agents, Experienced Agents
  • Accepts Agents in
  • # of Contractors
  • Annual Sales
    $40 million
  • Languages Spoken
  • GDS
  • Consortia
  • Accreditations
  • Members of
  • Seller of Travel
  • E&O Insurance Included
  • Focuses
    Adventure, Cruise, Disney, Groups, Leisure, Luxury, Honeymoon/DWs, FITs

Program Details

  • Ticketing Service for non-GDS Agents
  • Charge for Ticketing
  • Lead Program
  • Leads Belong to
    Host Agency
  • Charge for Leads
  • Education Program
    IC Education, In-person, On-demand
  • Allows Sub-agents

Pricing & Commission

  • Start Up Fee
  • Location requirement
    Storefront, Home-based
  • Annual Fee
  • Commission Split Range
    70% to 100%
  • Frequency of Commission Payments
  • Method of Payment
    Direct Deposit

Technology & Tools

  • Marketing Programs
    Direct Mail, Website Program, Consumer Magazine, E-mail Marketing, Social Media Tools
  • Sample Website
  • Leisure Tools
    Air Booking Tool, Consumer Booking Tool, Cruise Booking Tool, Hotel Booking Tool
  • Corporate Tools
  • CRM

About Departure Lounge

Departure Lounge is an Austin, TX based luxury travel host agency established in 2013 by Virtuoso senior executive, Keith Waldon. Departure Lounge is open to agents of all experience levels and offers two compensation options: 1) a tiered commission-split program paying advisors 70-90% and 2) a $650 monthly flat fee program that pays 100% commission/fees. Departure Lounge is a Virtuoso-member agency with both innovative storefront locations in Austin and San Antonio, as well as advisors across the United States and now also in Europe.

The start up fee is $500, which includes a one-time "onboarding" training---a combination of live/webinar training.  Starting with a new advisor's second quarter on the team, there's an additional $300 quarterly admin fee for advisors who do NOT record at least $30,000 in quarterly commissionable sales. Those who booking $30,000 or more per quarter do not pay the quarterly admin fee. All advisors pay a quarterly $100 technology platform fee that includes a subscription to Travefy, Travel Contact (CRM) and Departure Lounge's booking platform. This tech platform fee (equating to $33.33/mo) provides a savings to advisors for these platforms due to a bulk purchase by the agency.

Founder Keith Waldon serves on the Travel+Leisure magazine Advisory Board, the magazine's A-List, Virtuoso's Hotel Committee, and other hotel brand and tourism board advisory boards. Waldon won the 2019 Most Innovative Advisor in North America for the Virtuoso network. Departure Lounge has been featured in the Wall St. Journal, Forbes, Fortune, USA Today and Travel+Leisure.

Departure Lounge is a non-GDS agency that utilizes a modern CRM platform and operating system, making the agency ideal for new travel advisors. The agency looks at luxury travel experience, skill sets, personal networks and kindness to determine fit with the agency.

Departure Lounge travel advisors focus on luxury leisure travel bookings. Beyond the Virtuoso network client perks, Departure Lounge is also a member of the preferred agency programs for Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton (and all Marriott Luxury brands, Belmond, Rosewood, Peninsula, Shangri-La, Rocco Forte, Langham, Hyatt luxury brands, Hilton luxury brands, Tablet Hotels, Preferred Hotels Platinum and Small Luxury Hotels. Departure Lounge also has its own Preferred Partner program that pays Departure Lounge 15% commission for direct bookings and provides clients with top-level upgrades and perks.

Departure Lounge produces social media videos for its advisors to feature on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, and the video features a preferred hotel, ship or itinerary, along with the exclusive perks that clients receive when reserving through the advisor. Two video formats are produced: Departure Lounge-branded and generic (for those advisors who have their own brands).

The Departure Lounge advisor and support team interact daily in a private Facebook group, which is highly valued by all.

The agency has a track record of helping advisors start from scratch and develop $1 million+ annual sales.

Departure Lounge considers international luxury travel experience, skill sets, personal connections to affluent households and personal kindness when considering new independent contractors.


Preferred Suppliers

Cruise lines
  • AmaWaterways
  • American Cruise Lines
  • American Queen Steamboat Company
  • Avalon Waterways
  • Azamara
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Crystal Cruises
  • Crystal River Cruises
  • Cunard
  • Disney Cruise Lines
  • Holland America Cruise Lines
  • Hurtigruten
  • Norwegian Cruise Lines
  • Oceania Cruises
  • Paul Gauguin Cruises
  • PONANT Cruises & Expeditions
  • Princess Cruises
  • Regent Seven Seas Cruises
  • Royal Caribbean International
  • Scenic Cruises
  • Seabourn Cruise Lines
  • Silversea Cruises
  • Star Clippers
  • The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection
  • U by Uniworld
  • Un-Cruise Adventures
  • Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
  • Viking Cruises
  • Windstar Cruises
  • Accor
  • Bedsonline
  • Belmond
  • Fairmont
  • Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
  • Hilton
  • Hyatt
  • Intercontinental
  • Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
  • Marriott
  • Rocco Forte Hotels
  • Rosewood Hotels & Resorts
  • Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
  • Starwood
  • Taj Hotels
  • The Ritz-Carlton
  • Allianz
  • Travelex
  • Rail Europe
  • Rocky Mountaineer
Rental cars
  • Carey International
  • Hertz
  • Red Carnation Hotels
  • Walt Disney World Resort Hotels
  • Abercrombie & Kent
  • Adventures by Disney
  • African Travel
  • Big Five
  • CIE Tours International
  • Classic Vacations
  • Delta Vacations
  • G Adventures
  • Globus Family of Brands
  • GOGO Vacations
  • Insight Vacations
  • Intrepid
  • Journese
  • Leisure Connect
  • Luxury Gold
  • Monograms
  • Pleasant Holidays
  • Railbookers
  • Roadtrips
  • Rocky Mountaineer
  • Tauck
  • Trafalgar
  • Travel2
  • Travel Bound
  • Travel Impressions
  • Walt Disney Travel Company