NEW YORK -- Carnival Cruise Lines said it no longer will pay
override commissions to travel agents on air fares sold in
conjunction with cruises.
Instead, the line will pay a straight 10% on air.
Carnival president Bob Dickinson said, "Given the volatile air
cost environment, this will enable us to put forth the best
possible pricing in the marketplace."
At press time, the change tentatively was scheduled to become
effective Jan. 8, a spokeswoman for the line said.
Commissions will be protected for bookings prior to the
effective date, according to Carnival.
At the same time, Carnival also changed its new brochures, being
sent to agents this month, to list cruise-only pricing.
Previously, the brochures listed prices with air included.
The substantially lower brochure pricing will prevent the
"sticker shock" that can deter first-time cruisers from considering
a cruise, especially when that price is compared with resort prices
that do not include air fare, according to Dickinson.
The proliferation of discount air carriers and frequent flyer
miles has reduced the number of air-sea packages agents are
booking, Dickinson said.