e are saddened by the bankruptcy of
American Classic Voyages, and not only for the usual reasons. Like
any supplier bankruptcy, American Classic's Chapter 11 filing
creates hardship and inconvenience for thousands of agents, agency
clients, creditors and suppliers, not to mention its own employees.
And, as with any supplier bankruptcy, we harbor the hope that a way
can be found to reorganize the company so that its constituencies
can pick up the pieces and move on.
But in this case we're also rooting for the survival of unique
and uniquely American products. There should be a place in the
travel industry's domestic product line for overnight riverboats,
for all-Hawaii interisland cruises and for the new coastal steamers
for coastwise U.S. itineraries.
True, other companies can offer these or similar products, and
other companies may eventually step in to fulfill any unsatisfied
demand in the marketplace should any of these products go away.
But we believe it is a good thing that an American company made
it its business to offer all these unique cruise products under the
U.S. flag. That was, and is, a worthy pursuit. And if American
Classic cannot succeed with it, we surely hope that someone else
ero is back. Zero was in the
news a few months ago when it became the Northwest/KLM commission
rate for Internet bookings. Its arrival set off alarm bells, and
the stock prices of Expedia and Travelocity went reeling. Now Zero
has been adopted as the Continental commission rate for Internet
Online sellers of travel apparently must resign themselves to
Zero's presence in the online world. Other travel sellers,
meanwhile, might want to think of ways to prepare for its arrival