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ND Travel Agents Optimistic About The Future Of Air Travel

By Stan Stelter

Bismarck, ND – Travel agents in North Dakota say commercial air travel will climb again -- perhaps even getting back to more normal levels.

Just how air travelers would react remains to be seen as airlines resumed flights after last week's terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington D.C.

Travel agency owner Katherine Satrom in Bismarck says she is optimistic:

"I'm very optimistic that air travel will return to its more normal activity in the very near future. We're finding that while last week when planes weren't flying we had cancellations of course, a necessity that most of our clients are rebooking for in the future and if they had flights for this week or next week they have kept their schedules and are traveling."

All-American Travel owner Craig Steve in Dickinson says some people will be leery of flying -- but others will gain confidence from the new -- increased security measures. Steve also feels optimistic that air travel will climb again -- but not to the level it had been. However, Steve says he is concerned about what may happen with government intervention in the industry:

"I think that we're going to find that the essential travel will take place but I don't believe that we'll have, personally I'm concerned a little bit about what the government is going to do with the airlines. They may put some controls on the airlines if they are actually going to have financial stake in them so we may or may not have a highly competitive market for air fares as we did in the past because of the government stepping in."

Satrom says the government should recognize the relationship between the airlines and the travel industry:

"Well, when the airlines don't do well then that has repercussions on the rest of the travel industry. For example, when airlines didn't fly last week, of course, that impacts travel agency companies and that is why the legislation being considered should no doubt include the travel industry, and not only airlines."