Commission’s Report Lacks Counsel

After six months of hearings and testimony, the National Commission to Ensure Consumer Information and Choice in the Airline Industry released its report this week recommending well, nothing. Though the report concludes that the travel agent industry has been severely impacted by the events of the las


After six months of hearings and testimony, the National Commission to Ensure Consumer Information and Choice in the Airline Industry released its report this week recommending well, nothing.

Though the report concludes that the travel agent industry has been severely impacted by the events of the last several years and that since reaching a peak in 1994 the numbers have been reduced by a third, consolidation and free market factors should continue without any new legislation or regulation.

The Commission did not feel that the decline in the number of agencies had an adverse effect on consumers because the Internet gave them more access to travel information than they had before.

David Winstead, chairman of the commission said that while “thousands [of consumers] may have been inconvenienced by the loss of individual agents, they still have ample sources of travel information.”

He also said that while the commission was “seriously concerned with the financial health of the travel agency industry, [we] determined that new legislation or regulation would be ineffective in reversing the trend toward industry consolidation.”

The commission concluded that travel agents provide an independent source of travel information and that is important to protect consumers, and that the Internet does not always produce better results than traditional agents. The airlines’ refusal to make Web fares available to agents is an impediment to efficient operation of agencies, but the commission did not agree to support mandating that the Web fares be made available to all travel intermediaries.

Adventure Travel JDS Africa Middle East JDS Destinations
>