August 17, 2008

Travel Agents Go on Nationwide Strike Today

MUMBAI: Over 20,000 travel agents from across the country will be going on a one-day strike on Thursday in protest against the airlines decision to not pay commission to travel agents. About 2 lakh air tickets are issued by these agents daily.

"We have been asking for time for smooth transition to the zero commission model. The decision brings about a change in the business model. There are three parties involved in this: the airline, the agent and the consumer and the processes that need to be set into motion should be planned out properly," said Shubhada Joshi, secretary general of Travel Agents Association of India, the organisation that has called the stir.

"The implementation of 0% commission decision will have an effect on the consumers as they would have to compensate for the income of the travel agents," she said, adding that flyers may have to pay the 5% commission that airlines gave to the travel agents. "We need a more India-friendly 0% commission regime. Like for instance: including the commission in total fare," Joshi said.

Joshi said there is a need to inform the consumer that they may have to bear the commission burden , now that the airlines have decided against paying it.

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