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Flying Solo

Pay more for a travel agent? Why not just go online?

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This story appears in the September 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Now that the major airlines have pulled the plug on travel agency commissions, many business owners are faced with a difficult choice: Either pay a higher booking fee for airline tickets (fees have doubled, according to the American Society of Travel Agents) or become your own agent.

Online retailers Expedia (www.expedia.com) and Travelocity (www.travelocity.com) offer special booking tools for business travelers, providing many of the features you would expect to find if your travel were managed by an agent. For example, Expedia lets you become a "Travel Arranger," which allows you to buy tickets for other people, such as co-workers, friends, or family members. Similarly, Travelocity's Business Travel Center designates a "Travel Manager" to make arrangements for employees.

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