There’s just no respite for American travel agents in their continuing battle for survival.
Ticket sales by U.S. travel agents in the first quarter of 2016 fell 3.4% (compared to the first quarter of 2015), according to the Airlines Reporting Corp, the financial settlement engine between airlines and travel agents.
Consolidated dollar value of airline tickets sold by U.S. based travel agencies in Q1 of 2016 totaled $23.3 billion vs $24.1 billion in the same period last year.
The picture in March 2016 turned worse with ticket sales sliding 4.5% to $8.3 billion against the same month last year.
Lower airfares boosted ticket transactions 4.5% to 43.2 million in 2016 vs 2015.
Over the last seven years, hundreds of American travel agents have shut their doors.
Travel agents are now competing directly with airlines that sell directly to travelers through their web sites.
Airlines have also made a difficult situation for travel agents terrible by refusing to pay commission on sales of Economy class tickets.