ASTA's reaction to the last seven days of airline raids sounds
pretty potent: It has kicked out United, announced its intention to
sue the airlines over the pay cuts and outlined its "Fight Back"
campaign, which takes broad aim at what ASTA sees as the airlines'
The problem is, nobody outside the industry knows anything about
it. I did Web searches this morning on several major news sites
using every word and phrase I could think of relating to the latest
round of commission cuts and ASTA's reaction. What did I come up
with? Only one match. ABC News was the only media outlet that followed the
Yes, ASTA's doing some image advertising, and from what I've
seen it's pretty good. But what travel agents are going through
right now is big news. If ASTA wants to fight what it views as the
systematic divestment of travel agents' viability, then it needs to
bring its case not just to Congress or to the courts, it needs to
bring it to the people.
Hollywood once posed the question, "Suppose they gave a war and
nobody came?" If ASTA doesn't rustle up some press soon, it may
just find out.