Guest column: Tom Petryshen, from search marketing experts Amplify, says Flight Centre’s stouch with airlines will only drive customers online.
The private war conducted by Flight Centre on major airlines such as Singapore to force them into higher fees will only quicken the demise of traditional, bricks and mortar shops.
With empty seats in abundance even with the current deep discounting, this policy will likely drive consumers into the hands of airlines and other suppliers, especially as consumers realise their choice at Flight Centre will be dictated by the commissions the company receives from airlines.
More than ever, consumers want choice and they want to know that they’re getting the best value for their choice. With Flight Centre staff now directed to avoid certain carriers such as Singapore Airlines, consumers will come to question whether Flight Centre truly have their best interests at heart.
The traditional agent model is not sustainable and will continue to result in more closed shops, especially in tougher economic times. Bullying airlines to pay higher commission may increase revenue in the short term, but will only drive the demise of the traditional shop. What the business needs is innovation, not short-sighted tactics that place the customer worth off.
This stouch with airlines will only push more people online to get the best deal possible and the freedom to book their airline of choice.
Disclaimer: Amplify works with Webjet.