The relationship between MIT and the American Express Travel Agency (Amex) as a preferred ticket supplier will be terminated as of April 8. As of that date, Amex will no longer be eligible to receive any MIT MASCO or other MIT airline discounts, nor can they accept a departmental cost object to charge airline tickets.
The action is based on an announcement from Amex that beginning April 8, a processing fee will be charged for each airline ticket issued to MIT. This is because airlines have been reducing the commissions they pay to travel agencies. MIT is one of the last corporate businesses not being charged fees by agencies to make up for their lower commissions. Although MIT's avoidance of these fees thus far has saved the Institute approximately $1 million over the past two years, it is likely that MIT will eventually be forced to pay them.
The Travel Office asks that MIT customers use one of the other two MIT approved travel agencies, the Travel Collaborative or Navigant International (formerly Omni Travel). All new clients are asked to call the Travel Collaborative at 497-8196 or Navigant International at x3-9405.
Anyone interested in an educational seminar by either or both travel agencies on their services may contact Ellen Sico in the Travel Office at x3-3547 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or see the office's web site for more information.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 5, 2000.