Capt.Fantastic From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 750 posts, RR: 0 Posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1918 times:
What do you think about the future of travel agents? It seems that they are slowly being squeezed out of the industry. In recent years, they have suffered some severe blows: First, their commissions were cut from 10% to 8%. Then, came the age of the electonic ticket, which meant no need to acquire a paper ticket. The internet soon became the biggest enemy of the travel agent, with very user friendly websites, cyber savers, and special internet fairs that also offer frequent flier bonuses. There was also the commission cap ($50.00 on a domestic ticket and $100.00 for international.) OUCH! What's next? Will there be travel agents in 10 years? I don't think so. Are they needed? ... not if you have a PC and a credit card.
So, is this a good thing or a bad thing? For me personally, its good. I much prefer doing my travel arrangments myself, surfing the web for fares and making my own phone calls. Its more fun and actually easier. If you have ever looked at the software travel agents use; whether it be Sabre, or WorldSpan, its so difficult and tedious to use; Travelocity and United connection are so much more user friendly.
What do you think? Do we need travel agents? Are E-tickets and web based travel better than the days of old? Your thoughts ...
RJNUT From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 1242 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 1845 times:
I book corporate travel for an engineering firm w/ a $5 miilion travel budget...That couldnt be done with internet based booking engines that are slow and geared for the public usage...
that 'antiquated" software we use can get your ass in an airline seat and you head in a bed so fast it would amaze you..flights aint flying around 80 per cent full because people are surfin' around on different websites spending 15-20 mintes to get the bookings made..its because travel agencies around the country are processing travel requests at lightning..
speed..sometimes 25 transactions per hour..the airlines are not equippied to take up the slack at this time..it must be noted that still 60-70 per cent of all passengers booked are thought travel agents....
just my thoughts...i think the internet provides a great option for 'do-it-yourselfers' but the bulk of travel is still flowing thru agencies...agencies may themselves use the 'net, but nothing at this time can replaced the command/format based CRS reservations systems for speed
Bobo2196 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 1829 times:
I agree.... My dad works for K-Mart Corp in the Troy offices. They book all of their travel through a travel agency, wether its total travel management, or american express travel services. And they fly alot, to HKG and TPE to LHR and GIG and farther.
AC183 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 1532 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 1823 times:
I don't like the commission structure for agents, personally I think they should be sold tickets at a wholesale cost and pick their own markup. No, they probably wouldn't like that, but that would put an end to the problem of agents being dependant on what the airlines would be willing to give, would end the way agents sell airline XYZ because of a higher commission structure, and would give competition between agents as well as airlines.
Travel agents will reduce in importance to customers, and low distribution costs of internet bookings are huge advantages for airlines, but although importance of agents won't be as significant, they will exist parallel to other distribution channels.