John Werner, president of MAST Travel Network joined the outpouring of criticism of a Woman's Day feature critical of travel agents. In a letter to Woman's Day Editor-in-Chief, Susan Spencer, Werner offered a vigorous defense of agents professionalism.
"As the President of a network of over 200 small independent retail travel agencies in the Midwest, I must say what a disservice your publication has committed to your readers. I am referring to the article authored by Anne Rodriguez-Jones entitled, '9 Things Travel Agents Won't Tell You.' The article is full of errors, inaccurate and misleading information and false statements," Werner wrote.
"It is very unfortunate that your article has misled your readers. Our organization believes in providing customers options, being flexible in serving the needs of customers, providing exceptional customer service, understanding customers' dreams, providing expert travel planning, giving professional advice and guidance, and always being transparent," Werner wrote.
Royal Caribbean offered a defense of its own, saying:
"In response to the recent WomansDay.com article, Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, and Royal Caribbean International strongly value the travel agent community. We sincerely appreciate travel agents for the important role that they play in creating memorable experiences and the greater value they bring to vacationers through their training, expertise and in-depth knowledge of the travel industry. We remain committed to the travel agent community and will continue to support them in the promotion of the value of cruise vacations and growing their businesses."