Missing links


Amadeus' voice joined Worldspan's in opposition to a proposal brought by ARTA to the DOT. ARTA suggested that in light of the international commission caps, computerized reservations systems should renegotiate agencies' contracts. The CRSs argued there is no link between commission levels that airlines set and the contractual provisions agreed to by agencies and CRSs -- hence, the former shouldn't have an effect on the latter. I don't know. I'm thinking that if agents are making substantially less money selling the product that the CRSs exist primarily to distribute, there might be a connection, even if indirect, worth noting.

A new coalition of consumer and trade groups, including ARTA and Woodside Travel Trust, will lobby Congress and the DOT on issues relating to airline competition amd consumers -- that's right, consumers. By focusing its efforts on ensuring that consumers are informed, "that will take care of the survival of travel agencies," said coalition spokesman Ed Faberman. That sounds great, but maybe the group could throw some subliminal pro-agency messages in there while they're busily lobbying for the consumer. "...Furthermore, travel agen... I mean, consumers stand to gain a great deal from increased airline competition, in that travel agencies would.. oh, sorry, I meant consumers..."


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