As Omega World Travel and SatoTravel continue one-upping each
other to see who can bid the most implausible rebates -- Omega
opted to lay out a 30% rebate to keep a U.S. Postal Service
account, while Sato agreed to rebate 37.5% of its commissions in
order to retain an Air Force account in Japan -- one wonders how
long until one of these wheeler-dealers starts handing over 100% of
commissions plus a set of steak knives for each booking.
Effective Feb. 1, VIA Rail Canada will reduce its commission
rate for U.S. agents from 11% to 8%. To those hoping that nonair
suppliers would refrain from following the airlines' lead, my
condolensces. It seems your hopes have been derailed.
Talk about sleeping with the enemy: The Mark Travel Corp. signed
a deal with arch-rival Certified Vacations to provide software and
technology services. Such kinship in the industry, even among
competitors, is heartwarming, but isn't this a little like leaving
the blinds up for your nosy neighbor?