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Hit a Nerve…April 14, 2008 By: Kerry J Cannon Jr Travel Agent
Group Publisher Kerry Cannon on safari in South Africa.
it’s official…the response to my column, “Airlines and Agents,” last month
(March 3) was the largest, and most emotionally charged of any I’ve written
over the past several years. I was remarking about the disconnect between the
comments of an IATA official who suggested that 75 percent of all airline
ticket sales go through the travel agency distribution channel, and the fact
that the airlines, for the most part, do nothing for the agent to reward their
a sample of some of the feedback
I just read your extremely well-written article "Airlines and Agents"
in the March 3, 2008 Travel Agent publication.
is my first time e-mailing an editor to say “thank you” for an article that
actually tells it like it is! I can only hope that at least one well-positioned
airline executive has also read your article and taken it to heart!
found the “Airlines and Agents” article very interesting. Like you, my first
response was, “wow.” It’s really hard for me to believe that 75 percent of all
airline sales come from travel agents. We stopped selling airline-only
transactions over two years ago and I believe several other travel agencies in
our area have done the same. Since making that decision, our vacation business
has increased immensely and therefore we are making much higher commissions
than before. As far as I’m concerned, the airlines can keep their business to
themselves. They wanted to push us out of the picture and they actually did
this agency a favor. We’re not interested in the headache of checking numerous
fares and schedules for such a low return—our time and expertise is worth much,
much more than 10 percent of a $300 airline ticket. We’ve moved on.
I read your article "Airlines and Agents" and wanted to thank
you so much for standing up for my industry. It's rare that anyone speaks out
our behalf against the airline industry. Although your message will fall on
deaf ears (the airlines), it just "felt good" to read your article
knowing someone was still supporting us. A good hurrah…
you to all who responded. We’ll continue to be an advocate and a “voice” for
all you do.