Airlines and major travel agencies are embarking on a new kind of partnership, said speakers at the Insurance Conference Planners Association Northeast Chapter Meeting at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn., Jan 8-9.
Alan Krensky, president and CEO of Colpitts World Travel in Dedham, Mass. and Jim Carter, regional sales director Northeast, American Airlines, admitted that the smaller, "Mom and Pop" travel agencies are suffering badly due to commission cuts. However, "we are working closely with select agencies," said Carter. For example, American Airlines is becoming "strategically aligned" with about eight travel agencies out of a few thousand that currently exist in the greater Boston area.
Planners who work with these agencies will get greater negotiating power for things like ticket prices and the ability to void seats, said Krensky. He believes that select major travel management companies will form strategic partnerships with several carriers, creating a kind of "dealership" environment.