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..."