Spinelli makes last speech as ASTA chief

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LOS ANGELES -- Promising "I will be in this business until the day I die," Mike Spinelli made his last speech as ASTA president during a general session at the Society's annual congress here.

SpinelliThrowing away his notes and vowing to speak "from the heart," Spinelli addressed themes he'd been dealing with throughout his tenure, such as the small amount of travel actually being booked on the Web and the importance of the vacation market to travel agents. "That's where all the growth will be," he said.

During his two years as president, he said , "I ran into so many agents who were still living in the past, who keep asking, what can you do to get us our commissions back?" But the cuts are "over" and agents should move on, he stressed.

And "if airlines totally eliminate us from the booking process, they will need more reservationists than Clinton needs lawyers," he said.

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