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Kirk Cassels' Weekly Wrap of User Comments August 10-14

August 14, 2009 By: Kirk Cassels

The heat is getting to the masses in politics, sports, and entertainment. Vitriolic arguments about health care at town halls have flooded the airwaves and web, the Red Sox brawled with the Tigers (I think because they're bitter about getting swept by the Yankees but that's my New York subjectivity), and OMG John and Kate got into argument last night and the police showed up. Theses scuffles are, to me, only semi-exciting in comparison to the showdown going down in District 9 this weekend.

As you could expect, there's been some tussling going on here at TravelAgentCentral, especially if multilevel marketing companies and Joystar are involved. But we'll get to that in a moment.

Vivá La Mexico!

From the H1N1/swine flu outbreak to gang violence, Mexico has had a rough going in the tourism industry this year. But fortunately many in the industry still have faith in the destination— as evidenced in a comment posted by Andrew Paul on Joe Pike's story on how the country is regaining ground. He wrote:
Great collection of articles. It's good to see Mexico may be through the worst - even though most of the bad news was hype.

Joe is actually in Cancun right now, so let's hope he brings back some good news with him.

They're Not Like Us!

As you may have noticed, I enjoy citing obscure cinematic references with any chance I get. An easy one has been comparing the competition between travel agents and companies like Orbitz or Expedia etc to the ongoing battles between humans in machines in such franchises as Terminator and Transformers. But I think I'm exhausting that shtick plenty. So, as Lisa Sweet shares her opinion on a report that online travel agencies are showing an increase in leisure travel demand, I'll stick to the subject. She wrote:
Those are NOT Travel Agencies! Priceline, Expedia and Orbitz! Those are the dimiz of real Travel Agencies who have real knowledge and experience! Those are just the "Walmarts" of the travel industry, trying to put real Travel Agents and Travel Agencies out of business with their less than truthful advertising and embellished promises! They are making the travel economy worse, not better as people find out they get no help, their hotels they booked are not like the pictures, or close to where they thought, and they can't change their air easily as promise! Gives the travel industry a bad name.......especially, calling them Travel Agencies, when they are definitely NOT! Please do not associate them with our name!

We've used the term online travel agency, or OTA for short, in many instances on this site (like here) and have so with concerted effort to separate them from real travel agents. It may get confusing to the laymen or outsider of the travel industry, so I understand Lisa's concern. However, I think she, and you reading this, should check out some good news regarding these evil machines: George Dooley's report on how consumers are leaving the Internet for humans when it comes to booking travel.

I Don't Like Him!

In June, David Eisen reported that former Disney Cruise President Thomas McAlpin will lead Residensea Ltd as the new CEO. A month and a few weeks later, someone had something to say about that. Daizy wrote:
Tom is arrogant and didn't make it any further than Director at Royal Caribbean and only four years as President at Disney. Good luck ResidenSea!

I know nothing about McAlpin, so I cannot say whether I think Daizy is being harsh or not. However, if this Daizy is anything like Daisy de la Hoya from the recent realty TV show train-wreck "Daisy of Love" then I must admit I don't trust her in judgment in men.

As I have now embarrassed myself by admitting I watched that show, I will fill in those of you who are not in the loop on what I mean. Daisy de la Hoya tried to win the heart of former Poison frontman Brett Michaels in season two of "Rock of Love." She lost to a woman that Brett dated for a few months before ditching so he could have a third season of hooking up with drunk groupies and make some money off of it. So she got her own show and was the one choosing a new mate. In the end, she choose an unemployed, aspiring musician who lived with his father until getting kicked out. His name is Christopher Lee but she affectionately called him "London." The first night of the show, London drank until blacking out and passing out. He then left the show because Daisy bothered him. But then he came back and bothered everyone, and she still chose him because he was what she wants, though admittedly not what she needs. So I think you get the point now. And if you don't, go to and look the show up. I think you'll concur.

The Usual Suspects

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like here at Travel Agent to go through a week in which someone did NOT take the time to post a comment about YTB, Joystar or alleged multilevel marketing companies. Actually no I don't, because that will never happen.  But I'm leaving YTB alone this week, as it seems there may be a new name to throw in the mix.

After reading about the latest bankruptcy news about Joystar and how some agents may get their money back, Joyce raised a flag about Global Travel, saying:
Now that Joystar i out when will they look into Global Travel. You can buy an Iata card from them for $16.00 talk about card mills this is the biggest. I have several friends who bought cards from them aand get the benefits I do. Something is wrong with this picture.

This sounds like an investigation for George Dooley. So Joyce, I'll shoot him a note on the subject. Maybe Dooley will get an opinion from John Frenaye on the matter, who has been the subject of conversation here on TravelAgentCentral as well.

Earlier in the year, Dooley interviewed Frenaye about the dangers of multilevel marketing companies and card mills, and the story got several comments from the months of February through April. The conversation had since died down until, this week, reader Carol addressed John directly, asking:
For john Frenaye: you stated you knew many host agencys that charge no fee to join and no website fee with a 80% split. Could you please email me a list. I am all over that one.

John, I know you read this site because I have posted your submitted comments personally (unless someone is pretending to be you, which I doubt). Carol didn't include her e-mail, so unfortunately you cannot contact her directly. So, if you can, come on back and share the list she requests, or at least get in touch with her either here or perhaps on AgentNation, the only social community for all types of travel agents. Can you help out?

As always, keep the comments coming here or in real time at AgentNation. We love hearing from you, and I love watching the words fly.

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