a company sells you a ticket and has to sell other
products with it, you will have to produce a voucher
for the land arrangements. If you don't produce
it due to it not being sold to you, or because
you forgot the voucher...guess what. Air France(yes,
Air France has done this a number of times) will
not allow you to board!
I thought to myself...I'll just book a flight to JFK.
So I asked for a ticket for a flight from Boston to
JFK to Athens....I was refused and told that that
connection would not work because the seat was not
available in "L" class. So the seat is available
if you fly Delta from Boston to LGA and then get on
the Delta flight to Athens, but if you try to book
a ticket from Boston to JFK and then the very same
Delta flight- there is no seat available. So Delta
is allowing us to book seats on the inconvenient flight
connection, but not the one that is direct to JFK
and then Greece...
it leveled off there...afterall, how could it possibly
get worse for us.... you got it! They came up with
another scheme. This one most agents don't even know
I had a
client who wanted flights to Greece. I usually tell
people to purchase from whoever has the lowest fare.
I give them a quote and then they search around. I
gave a quote on Delta. My net fare I could sell for
about $1050. The published fare was about $1180(you
can search on Sabre Reservation-they system that an
agent uses to book tickets- and it will show you the
lowest published fare offered by the airline). Wow,
I'm saving my client $130.... he'll be happy.
day I recieved an email and he was pissed off at me
for trying to rip him off. "What?" I thought
to myself. "How can this be? I know what the
published fare is." I checked again... sure enough
the fare was listed at $1180. I figure the guy was
either BSing or there was something else going on.
I called Delta and asked for reservations for the
dates I had for him. Sure enough they were offereing
flights directly to the clients(that weren't listed
in the "Global" reservation system, for
$100 less than I could get my "net" fares
for and $230 less than what they had listed as their
lowest fare on the Sabre system.
this mean? That we can't even sell the published tickets
and add a commission because the "published"
fares that they offer us are more than the published
fares that they offer the passengers directly!
this is what they are offering their agents who have
sold millions of tickets for them over the years....
as a matter of survival they are cutting out their
agents.... They cannot get rid of the passengers since
they are the backbone of their business, but they
can take away more and more services(and offer worse
we are....Delta is in deep financial trouble, they're
cutting back on flights, flying many planes that are
only partially full and losing money at a record rate.....
and are still selling tickets at exhorbitant fares!
they make will be solely for the purpose of extending
their economic survival(but I can't understand how
they would rather fly empty planes than lower their
fares)... If the best interest of the client is contradictory
to the best interest of the airline.... what decision
will they make?
Airways is now in a bit of a mess with the European
Government. The national airline of Greece has recieved
billions of dollars in illigal subsidies.(The contention
being that it's not fair competition if an airline
is subsidized by the governement). The ariline is
hovering on the fringe of bankruptacy(and that's not
even taking into consideration the billions they're
supposed to pay back to Greek Government). They have
one of only 2 nonstop flights to Greece from NY(Delta
is the other one), yet they continuously fly their
planes empty, rather than lower the fares to get more
customers.(Most people would rather add another stop
in to save $200 than to fly direct- which leads me
to another question- how can it be more expensive
to fly nonstop than to stop off in another country
and catch another flight!). I don't have the answer
but I will discuss it in my "If Movie Theaters
were run like Airlines" article.
the answer. The airlines don't need to make money
because they will be protected by Chapter 11 eventually
or they can get bailed out by their governement(at
least US airlines and the European airlines who don't
want to follow the law!)
of my rant against one of my most un-favorite industries.....I
know that the skies are not friendly to agents......
run a few price searches and come to your own conclusion
about how friendly the skies are to passengers.
I forgot one last thing(which you may want to keep
in mind). With some of our rates the airlines require
that we sell land packages with the tickets.(Figure
that one out, if I want to sell and Air France plane
ticket to someone going to Greece, I have to also
sell that person a hotel room, or a car rental or....
anything else as long as it adds up to $500-1000,
depending on the airline. Why in the world would Air
France care if I sold a hotel room in Greece? Oh,
that's right.. they don't want to work with agents.
But why would they give us "discount" fares
if they don't want to work with us? hmmmm.....maybe
they want to maintain the myth of the friendly skies
and telling the world that those agents who helped
them sell hundreds of millions(or more) tickets in
the past are...well... a bit of an inconvenience....and
they cut into their profits.... no, that's bad PR.
Let's just offer them net fares that are higher than
what we sell tickets for and if there are some fares
that happen to be lower, we'll tack on a policy that
they have to sell land also.
that affect you, the passenger? First of all, you
may find a great fare, but then you have to purchase
other travel products that may be more expensive,
cutting into your savings...but more importantly,
if a company sells you a ticket and has to sell other
products with it, you will have to produce a voucher
for the land arrangements. If you don't produce it
due to it not being sold to you, or because you forgot
the voucher...guess what. Air France(yes, Air France
has done this a number of times) will not allow you