The cartoon just to the right of
this column depicts a battle between a monster and a villain.
Before you get the urge to take sides, consider that, according to
the movies, neither Darth Vader nor Godzilla was irredeemably evil.
Perhaps the fates
were unkind and they were exposed to forces that brought out the
worst in them. Perhaps they were simply misunderstood.
Unfortunately, they did not always appreciate the magnitude of the
collateral damage they caused.
We feel the same
way about the real-world airlines and GDSs.
But in the real
world, we suspect the so-called GDS wars will end up wreaking a lot
less havoc than some commentators fear.
A lot of parties
have an interest in the outcome, including other technology
companies, online and traditional travel sellers, corporate travel
managers and other suppliers -- not to mention the airlines and the
GDS operators themselves.
We dont believe for
a moment that this large supporting cast is going to end up buried
in a pile of rubble at the end of the movie.
Whats going on in
the real world, the business world, are commercial negotiations,
not science fiction. The end of the world is not a likely
As we report in our news
pages today, some very big players, with names like Sabre and
Galileo, have signed important, long-term content agreements with
some other big names like United and Delta.
Yes, there will be
plot twists. There may even be casualties. But we have enough faith
in the marketplace to predict that the lights will come back on and
the travel industry will be able to go about its
In the meantime,
hold on to your seats.
" " "
Cruise executives tell Travel Weeklys TC
column (see Movie night on the high seas) that they plan to see
the movie Poseidon and are confident that the flick will not scare
people out of booking cruise vacations.
Its the right thing
to say, and its probably true.
The new movie is a
remake of the 1972 classic disaster film The Poseidon Adventure, in
which a rogue wave capsizes an ocean liner, forcing our heroes to
escape by climbing up into the interior of the ship and escaping
through the keel. Luckily, a rescue crew was standing by with a
blowtorch to cut through the steel.
A quick reading of
recent history suggests that Hollywoods improbable disaster
scenarios dont keep people out of skyscrapers, airplanes or
earthquake fault zones. Also, cruising had a couple of good years
after Titanic hit the big screen in 1997, so were not much worried
Of greater concern
for travelers, travel sellers and travel suppliers is the
real-world task of risk assessment when it comes to matters such as
smoking on a ship, overindulging when on vacation, trusting the
wrong people or not taking sensible precautions.
No traveler needs
to know how to get out of an upside-down cruise ship, but as we
head into the peak season, maybe we all need to be reminded that
the things that can really hurt us are not always villains and
monsters, just as the things that can save us are usually pretty
boring -- things like seat belts and sunscreen.