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Why Not Eastern?

April 15, 1990

Peter S. Greenberg's article entitled, "For Some Airlines the Picture Remains Cloudy," March 11, does a great disservice to the travel-agency community. You make it appear that all travel agencies are interested only in the short-term profits that can be generated from a current sale. Travel agencies that do not offer the lowest air fare possible cannot stay in business long. There are too many of us in this industry who want that client to keep coming back to us.

The author is also wrong when he states that "the public has no reason not to fly Eastern" when he relates it to price considerations. Yes, if the passenger charges the ticket to a credit card and the anticipated use will occur within 60 days of the charge, the passenger probably will not suffer a loss on the Eastern ticket in the event of a bankruptcy.

But what if Eastern goes bankrupt the day the individual is supposed to travel? That individual may not be able to get transportation to his destination if the flights are all sold out. That could mean missing a meeting, a real estate closing or maybe even a cruise ship. All of these could be very costly.

And try to buy a ticket the day you want to travel. A ticket purchased in advance for Los Angeles to Miami round trip would cost $268. At the ticket counter that same reservation could cost as much as $1,098. As an indication of the seriousness of the situation, the insurance that we offer to our clients to cover losses due to an interruption in flight will not cover Eastern's tickets.

We are sorry to see Eastern and Pan Am in financial difficulties, as they have long been supporters of the travel-agency industry. But would we not do our clients a grave disservice and place ourselves in financial jeopardy if we did not make those clients aware of problems they may face?

JOHN & ROSEMARY NIGRO

Vineyard Travel

Escondido

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