Stop the madness


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?


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