Happy Frozen New Year to all! Wherever you are, I hope it's nowhere near the below 20 degree temperatures we've had in New York at times. Whether through the grapevine, on Facebook or elsewhere, I've heard plenty of friends, friends of friends, colleagues, friends of colleauges, and, finally, colleagues of friends, complain about the 40 degrees in Orlando and I empathize, but don't sympathize. Just the other night I was outdoors when the wind chill and "feels like" factors were below zero. But it was worth it. Let's dive right on in to the first comments of the year.
New Year, Same Old YTB & Traverus
Just because I sounded off on one of the people who get over-crazed about YTB doesn't mean I'm going to leave them out of the lineup forever. George Dooley wrote his first report on the company for the year, which included some insight from John Frenaye. That insight has been addressed by one reader, Peter, who wrote:
Frenaye is an idiot and so is the Legal Team who can't grasp that the "lions share of the income derived" does not require payment in order to participate.
YTB sold 5 times that amount in TRAVEL but derived $27m from $425m in travel sales.
Do you dolts actually think this pipe dream of a suit is going any further than it did the first two times?
Good luck with that.
It doesn't suprise me that an outraged reader has reverted to childish name calling. Peter, I can't tell if your point about the money made has anything to do with the manner in which it was made by who. Plus, if this suit goes as far as the one in California, YTB may have some paying to do, poopypants.
For nearly a year now, a Dooley piece that questioned the operations of TraVerus Travel Network has received a lot of comments (one we even had to remove due to court order). But the latest appears of great significance as it is, apparently, by a former employee named Blake, who shared:
I was a Regional Executive with TraVerus about to go National. I had recruited many, many people and things were looking great...the things changed!! The AG stepped-in and instructed TraVerus to make changes or shut-down! Products were introduced and became mandatory to purchase. TraVerus became what I hated the most about the MLM industry, just another Lotion & Potion company with very little travel being sold! Glad I got out when I did even though I had a huge downline!!
It's great to see that you got out in time, Blake. Do you have any advice for anyone affected by the company or wish to hear from others like you? Post something below, I'll get you connected.
Return to Cruise Rebating
In the last weekly wrap, not the yearly wrap, agents were at the high point of discussing whether cruise rebating got better or worse or stayed the same in 2009. Carrying the the conversation into 2010 is Denise, who offers her opinion and a potential solution, stating:
All the cuise lines should eliminate the ability to rebate which would force us all to play on a level playing field. For a small online agency, competing directly with VTG and Smart Cruiser, it is difficult to not offer discounts.
I'm no expert on this matter, but it seems that Denise's idea in eliminating all rebating may create an "only the strong survive" environment among agents. Is that what travel professionals want?
Paws Before Passengers
One of the sweeter stories of 2009 was Pet Airways, the airline for animal travelers only. It comes as no surprise that people are still talking about it in 2010. Pat Griswold wrote:
This is a great service for pet owners and I would imagine these pets will get service than their humans will get with the regular airlines.
I am sure those pets get the best experience anyone could wish for. After all, your "business" is cleaned up by someone else as you walk away. Most pets deserve that, like this golden retriever that saved one of its owners from a cougar in Canada.
By the way, Pat, did you get a chance to see Clark Griswold this holiday season? If so, I hope it was better than some of his past Christmas experiences.
A "Super" Comment
If you ask me, in all honesty, the Cruise Lines International Association launching a new website is not the most exciting story to discuss. But I'm just a web journalist, not a Super Bowl quarterback like Tom Brady, who apparently took time from his busy schedule of leading the New England Patriots to the playoffs and being the husband of Giselle Bündchen to share his enthusiasm, saying:
CLIA is reaching more millions of cruise consumers with this new web site www.cruising.org and 16,000 CLIA travel agents on a regular basis. It is very user friendly and a useful cruise reference tool for the industry, agent, and family, couple, or group who are planning their next cruise vacation.
Tom, thanks so much for stopping by. Please continue reading this page every day instead of your playbook. Please browse our site every day instead of practicing (you need to rest those ribs anyway). Not only do we want your support and interest, I don't want you to be at your best this weekend. Why? Check the link above where I said the time I was outdoors was "worth it."
Speaking of CLIA, the other day we showcased an ongoing discussion by agents about whether it was better to go through a host agency or not regarding CLIA. It just goes to show that AgentNation is the place for travel professionals to network on anything from business tips to operations questions. If you haven't signed up yet, do so today and find out what you've been missing.