TRAVELSAPIEN takes no sides however thought this eMail received might be of interest to travelers to weigh the value of Agents and their services as necessary.
" I have been both a traveller (must be English or Canadian by spelling) for a long time (not a tourist, but a traveller), and I wonder if anyone else out there has noticed the change in the consumer over the past few years. They seem to expect prices to be below the cost before they buy.
The travel industry has changed considerably over the past few years to adapt to this consumer attitude. The general public seems to feel it has been over-charged for travel in the past and now it is time to strike back. As a result, airlines, cruise lines, some tour companies, and many other travel suppliers have steadily reduced their pricing to come in line with what the consumer wants to buy. Volume has become more important than quality. This seems to have resulted in less value and reliability in travel arrangements and much antagonism within the travel industry itself.
Because airlines now find themselves pricing their flights at or below an acceptable return, they have become nothing more than a bus (no offense) with wings and have no alternative but to squeeze more people on the planes, have fewer and older aircraft, and, disturbingly, stall off making repairs unless essential. Part of their strategy has been to cut off commissions to the Travel Agency Community, which books 90% of their seats for them. You will notice costs are rarely inclusive but add-on's prevail. Extra Taxes. Fuel Surcharges, and Fees that equal or surpass the airfare quotation are frequent.
Has quality and profit in the Travel Industry become a dirty word? For those consumers who insist on cheap prices regardless of maintaining company survivability, do they work for their respective companies (and earn a living to pay for their travel) also to not make a profit? A profit that is a legitimate reason to be in business. I doubt it." Signed - Frustrated Travel Industry Person.
Hmmmmmmmmm I leave it there everyone. No comment from me on this one. We have to all make choices. The only thing my own experience suggests is that "driving prices to the bottom" eventually puts everyone at risk. Company's. Employees. Travelers. Too many failures over the past few years attest to that.