What cuts?

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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' predatory practices.

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 story.

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.

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