Hit a Nerve…

Kerry Cannon

Group Publisher Kerry Cannon on safari in South Africa.

So 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 activities.

Here’s a sample of some of the feedback

Bravo, Kerry!

I just read your extremely well-written article "Airlines and Agents" in the March 3, 2008 Travel Agent publication.

This 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! 

Sincerely,

Susan Cassone
Harbor City Travel
Florida

Dear Kerry,

I 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.

Warm Regards,

Missy Leibold
Destinations

Arkansas

Kerry,

Yesterday 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

on 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…

Ron Oster


Rawhide Travel and Tours

Arizona

Thank you to all who responded. We’ll continue to be an advocate and a “voice” for all you do.

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