And more bad airline news, next part….

It is really sad. Here, in the best country on earth, we have some big businesses (in this case airlines) who have our government believe that the country cannot function without them. I only remind you of the bail-outs that have happened in the past. Yes, airlines were hit by various events which caused bail-outs, but the rest of the travel industry was hit as well – not to mention regular American citizens! Most of these airlines – especially the big ones – have been experiencing financial troubles for many years. I would call that bad business management, but I guess I don’t know anything about that!

When the airlines started to bleed, instead of looking at their business model and changing some things there, like other businesses would have to, they looked at the one thing you cannot possibly be in business without – customer service! That is where they cut, and cut, and cut…. Instead of treating their customers with respect and gratitude, they shove travelers into ever smaller seats, give them less and less amenities, and now charge them for basics – like the first bag, a can of soda, seat reservations and so forth.

When the airlines cut out travel agencies in the late 1990s, which is the only reason why we have to charge our clients ticketing fees, they made the first big mistake. We did not receive any commission payments unless we sold seats on their planes! And what we did get was directly linked to the price of the ticket – it used to be 10% of the base fare (that is the fare without any taxes) of a ticket. Then it went to 5%, then 5% with a cap, and finally 0%. These airlines had an international sales force that worked their hearts out for them. We took care of our clients – and we still do! – if there were changes to a client’s schedule, we did the work. We also continue to make sure our clients’ flight schedules are correct (like checking the requirements about how long they need to be at an intermediate airport in order to safely change planes), that the travelers are informed about luggage and other rules, that they know how early they need to be at the airport, etc.

For our valued clients we still do whatever necessary, so they can have as good a trip as possible. But it does not look like most of the airlines care for their passengers, our clients. That is the saddest part about this…


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