Roche, Jack
February 1988
Accountancy;Feb1988, Vol. 101 Issue 1134, p100
Trade Publication
This article focuses on the air travel business in Great Britain. A number or airlines have check-in desks at city centre hotels: passengers are given seat allocation and aircraft boarding cards on the spot and transport to the airport is free. Entrance to VIP airport lounges is no longer restricted to first-class and frequent business-class passengers. The Guild of Business Travel Agents (GBTA) lays claim to the largest share of the industry's annual travel expenditure. GBTA members have been locked in a friendly contest with each other, and valuable business house accounts change hands depending on annual turnover rather than loyalty to one particular travel company. GBTA decided to get its act together and present a united front: collective buying power would persuade the airlines to mastermind better deals than the bucket-shops were obtaining. The result is that the multiples are matching bucket-shop fares. However, since the bucket-shops are holding their own by cutting profit margins, the best advice is to shop around and obtain two or three quotes before placing travel order. If there is one bucket-shop that qualifies for inclusion in the Guinness Book of Records it must be Trailfinders, where 120 dedicated staff handle more than 60,000 clients a year and issue an average of 500 air tickets a day.


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