When British Airways requests the pleasure of travel agents' company at a meeting to discuss future possible remuneration levels, it is apparent that sensibility may have won the battle over arrogance.
Co-operation and consideration is all we agents have ever asked for and we must now recognise BA for allowing us the opportunity to have a say in our future. We should also accept that BA underestimated its most efficient and profitable distribution methods.
We as travel agents have often made the same serious mistake of devaluing (ie discounting) a service that only we can provide. A service that is good enough for us to charge our customer for and also one that we should consider charging airlines for - anyone interested please write to me at the address below. This is an idea not to be introduced without consultation with suppliers but carried out in a manner reflecting the history and honour built by the godfathers of our industry. If we are not always consulted we can at least set an example.
Dominant operators will need to bear with us, after all trust needs to be earned. Falling profits and market share testify to their mistakes of the past. I have a feeling that a few number crunchers might be toppled to make way for those who focus not only on making money but also on the people of our industry.
Stewart Travel Centre
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