Pardon me, but your overrides are showing. That's right, Congress
has just been advised that agent overrides are contributing to
nasty predatory practices in the airline industry and that such
incentives should be put under a DOT microscope.
The suggestion comes from a report on airline competition
released Friday by the National Research Council. The study, six
months in the making, states as its overall premise that start-up
carriers shouldn't have to fly through so many hoops to compete
against established airlines. A leveled playing field is called
That's where your commissions come in: "Some airlines," the
study says, "have aggressively sought to influence travel agents
with bonus commissions so that agents would, in turn, steer
customers away from rivals. To combat this, DOT should more closely
monitor the way airlines use travel-agent incentive payments."
I'd like to suggest that DOT assign a personal "explainer" to
every travel agent in the country. That person would accompany you
to the grocery store, pharmacy, wherever your day takes you, and
explain to anybody who attempts to charge you for goods or services
that you no longer are contributing to unfair competition between
airlines and, that being the case, you're now unable to pay for
things. Yeah, that'll do it.