The Salary of an Airline Reservation Manager

by Rick Suttle

Airline and ticket reservation companies rely on airline reservation managers to ensure enough agents are available to help customers. Airline reservation managers hire and train ticket agents, schedule their hours and answer customers' questions -- or resolve problems -- that ticket agents can't answer. They also conduct performance reviews for ticket agents and supervisors, ensure flight schedule databases are updated regularly, analyze monthly flights and departures and forecast ticket sales. If you want to be airline reservation manager, you may need to work your way up from a ticket agent job. You can expect an above-average salary compared to other careers.

Salary and Qualifications

Airline ticket reservation managers earned average annual salaries of $50,000 as of 2013, according to the job website Simply Hired. Many of these professionals start as ticket agents and work their way up to supervisor -- and then to airline reservation manager. You need at least a high school diploma and two or more years experience in ticket operations to become an airline reservation managers Other essential qualifications include physical stamina and organizational, analytical, critical-thinking, problem-solving, customer service, communication and computer skills.

Salary by Region

In 2013, average salaries for airline reservation managers varied considerably within certain U.S. regions. In the South region, they earned the lowest salaries of $39,000 in Mississippi and the highest of $78,000 in the District of Columbia, according to Simply Hired. Those in the West earned between $40,000 and $56,000 -- with the lowest salaries in Montana and highest in California and Alaska. If you worked in Maine or Massachusetts, you would earn $45,000 or $60,000 per year, respectively, which were the highest salaries in the Northeast. And your earnings would be between $39,000 and $53,000 in the Midwest region -- with the lowest salary in South Dakota and highest in Minnesota.

Contributing Factors

Most airline reservation managers earn more as they gain experience. Annual increases can add thousands of dollars to their salaries. They can also earn more through experience by qualifying for better-paying jobs. You would likely earn more working for a larger airline because they usually have larger revenue bases to support higher salaries. In some cases, you may get a higher salary with a bachelor's or master's degree in business. Your employer may offer you more if you have a degree because you would likely be more promotable to higher-level jobs. Moreover, your salary as an airline reservation manager would be higher in New York or California because of higher living expenses in those states.

Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't project job trends for airline reservation managers. It does forecast job opportunities for information clerks, including reservation ticket agents, which are expected to increase six percent in the next decade. This relatively low growth-rate -- compared to 14 percent, on average, for most jobs -- is mainly attributed to increases in online reservations and self-service ticketing machines. Still, your services as an airline reservation manager will be needed to ensure all operations and machines operate effectively -- and to assist customers.

Photo Credits

  • Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images