Reservationist jobs are found in a variety of settings. Tourism is the industry in which most reservationist jobs may be found. Careers in reservations also are plentiful in the food and beverage industry, including jobs in hotels and restaurants. Airline reservationist jobs are available for those who can work as a travel clerk or ticket agent. Other businesses that may hire reservationists include spas and salons, car rental businesses, and any other company that requires someone to make appointments.
Reservationist job descriptions vary. Though similar, hotel reservationist jobs differ from airline reservationist jobs, for example, because their products are different. A hotel reservationist must know intricate details regarding the suites and services of the hotel, whereas an airline reservationist should know flight schedules and ticketing processes.
The requirements and previous experience necessary to land a reservationist job also can vary. A local mom-and-pop restaurant might hire high school students or friends and family members. A Manhattan bistro or lounge, however, might have stricter hiring standards. An airline might hire potential reservationists and put them through a training course.
Many times, the training courses for reservationist jobs weed out the applicants who don’t have enough potential to make up for a lack of experience. These training courses generally consist of both classroom-style lectures and on-the-job training. Tests are given out after the course. Those who don't pass are typically paid a training wage for their hours worked, but dismissed as job candidates.
A reservationist might be the first person guests talk to when they either call or come into the business. Therefore, this employee needs to have a friendly, professional demeanor. His communications skills must be superb and he must be a detail-oriented and organized person. Reservationists must use multi-line phone systems, so patience is necessary when the phone is ringing off the hook. The ability to coordinate appointments for hundreds of people in a packed restaurant, resort, or airplane requires a level head.
A reservationist does more than schedule reservations and appointments. He takes messages, coordinates deliveries, and orders supplies. He must handle and take note of guest complaints and suggestions. As he is often seen as a manager's right-hand man, the reservationist also gives messages and duties to other employees.
Interested job applicants needn’t possess a college degree, as most reservationist jobs don’t have stringent education requirements. Instead, similar career experience may be expected of an applicant. Lead reservation positions may require an associate’s degree or a history of business or communications courses, though it’s not likely.
Salaries for reservationists can vary widely, depending on the industry and the employer. Various airlines typically pay each ticket agent or travel clerk an hourly wage. A hotel reservationist may be paid a humble yearly salary. A restaurant reservationist could potentially make a majority of her income through tips. A resort or car rental company may pay their reservationists a base wage plus commission.