05 August 2010

C'mon Gimme Some....

USA TODAY(August 5th) came out with an interesting perspective that addresses the Ancillaries view.

SmartBrief - the ASTA (American Society for Travel Agents) daily newsletter had a slightly interesting spin by stating "Travel agents push for share of fees". And this there is nothing wrong with that. I think the revenue should be shared. If the agents are doing some work - then let them get compensated... but by whom? Currently the airlines are not paying the agents formally for issuing tickets. The agents are getting compensated by their clients. Except the OTAs stopped charging fees for handling flights. A fact they trumpet and have had great success in doing so. The share of booking processed by Online Agents has actually risen in no small measure because of the no fees policies.

At present this seems to indicate that the OTAs are doing just fine with the model and so does the consumer. While we all know that the process is not necessarily pleasant the amount of information out there is clearly not impeding the purchase of travel.

So a part of the debate must be whether it is actually necessary to go for detailed disclosure or all information or rather if the disclosure process currently in place is sufficient.

There just seem to be a large number of people complaining about the issue and not all of them making complete sense. This applies to politicians and industry players alike.

So if I can quote a little Hamlet:

Hamlet: Madam, how like you this play?
Queen: The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
Hamlet Act 3, scene 2, 222–230


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