Clarity is good. We think travel suppliers should make clear to their wholesalers what the product is, what it isn't and whether the wholesaler can tweak it when market conditions warrant.

Wholesalers, by the same token, should make clear to retailers what they can and cannot do for them.

When that happens, the retailer has the product knowledge and the support to go out and move the product, and the consumer gets to know precisely what his or her options are.

We may have just described a workable marketplace, but when it comes to certain Orlando tour packages, we're not there yet.

It appears that travel agents are still waiting for the Walt Disney Co. and its Disney Select tour operators to speak with one clear voice about the inclusion of Disney World passes in non-Disney tour packages.

Disney Select operators are those few companies that have the right to include the Disney hotel properties in their Orlando products.

To maintain that relationship with Disney, they are contractually required to include Disney World passes in other Orlando packages that use non-Disney hotels, with the proviso that the passes can be removed if the operator finds it necessary to preserve the sale.

That gives operators and agents an "out" for those clients who aren't going to the Disney attractions, but it can create problems for agents if it means resorting to a manual transaction and giving up the benefits of an automated CRS booking, such as override and segment credits.

Reports that this policy is being relaxed or revised met with a noncommittal statement from Disney and conflicting reports from the operators, each of which demanded anonymity. Not a recipe for clarity.

Travel agents and their clients deserve to know the terms and conditions under which these products are to be sold. Is that asking too much?

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