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Sometimes it’s important to go back to basics. We can get so busy analyzing trends and consumer tendencies, keeping an eye out for new markets and emerging destinations and learning about best business practices, that we forget the fundamentals of the travel industry. Simply getting people from point A to point B and back again is step one in what travel is all about.
It sounds simple, right? Yet there are few stories in the travel industry filled with more drama than the relationship between travel agents and airlines. Despite this troubled history, however, the success of both parties is clearly intertwined: Agents need the airlines and, yes, airlines need travel agents.
This issue’s cover story, “Working With Airlines,” examines the current state of this complicated interdependence and offers suggestions for ways that travel agents can get the most out of their relationship with airlines.
When it comes to working with airlines, most agents will tell you that some are better than others, and acknowledging the best travel companies is the goal behind TravelAge West’s Western Agents Vote of Excellence (WAVE) awards. With that in mind, it is time once again to vote for your favorites in the industry. On page 38, you’ll find this year’s WAVE ballot. In addition, on page 40, you can read about the history and philosophy of the WAVE awards.
So go ahead and pick your favorite airline, among other suppliers. Let them know you appreciate their support of your business.