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Travel Agencies Under Attack

I listen with interest to your shows. I wonder if you are aware of the latest blow to the travel agency community.

On Thurs, Oct 7, United faxed the latest and most devastating of a series of commission cuts, cutting commissions from eight percent to five percent on international and domestic -- a 37 percent decrease in revenue, with less than 12 hours to prepare for this restructuring.

This change was matched by American the next day, by Delta on October 11, Alitalia, Air France -- they all will follow. The amazing thing about this is that there has been virtually no notice of it in any news publication, and that this will very likely cause the demise of most travel agencies, certainly of the smaller ones. Of course, air travel is not all that we sell, but it is a basic ingredient in most trips, certainly for business travelers.

As you know it is difficult to find information as rapidly online and many people haven't the expertise, equipment or the time to do their own searches. The airlines are making it clear that they do not need the travel agency for distribution, and the public will be rankled to have to pay for services that were once free.

Anyway I thought it would be important for you to be aware of this further erosion of the relationship between airline and travel agency. Thanks for listening.




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