Celebrating 80 Years: AA Promotes Agents in 1989

In case you haven't read by now, American Airlines (AA) is doing all that it can to encourage consumers to book tickets through its Direct Connect program, instead of through travel companies like Travelport or even online travel agencies (OTAs) like Orbitz. It's the latest of several battles between airlines and travel professionals (including United Airlines' attempt to pass credit card fees on to agents or Delta Air Lines' flip-flopping with agents, seemingly offering commissions at one moment then being difficult in cooperation with ASTA the next), and that's not including the madness over ancillary fees.

So we figured, since it's the Friday before the last full week of work until the busy Thanksgiving holiday, that we'd take a look back to 1989, when American Airlines was insistent on promoting travel agents through the magazines passengers found in the flap on the back of the seat in front of them (read the full article for yourself here). Perhaps it's time to remind them to re-read their own literature?

As we celebrate our 80th anniversary, we're taking a look at what was happening in the industry in the past and asking agents to share their thoughts on what has changed in the industry up until the present. So please share your thoughts by posting a comment below, writing us at our Facebook page, sending a tweet to our Twitter page or by engaging in a discussion in real time at AgentNation (the only social community online for all kinds of travel agents, which certainly wasn't around 80 years ago). We want to hear from you.

And while you're here, learn more about how we're celebrating eight decades of covering the travel industry for travel professionals.


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