October 01, 2002
Meetings & Conventions: Newsline newsline.gif (8042 bytes)PLANNERS REACT TO CARRIERS’ FINANCIAL WOES, NEW FARE POLICIESAirline Concerns: A Call to ActionThe financial instability of our nation’s major airlines has meeting planners concerned, but they’re hardly sitting idly by and hoping their groups are not affected.

In a mid-September online poll, M&C found that 77 percent of respondents are concerned airline bankruptcies will complicate attendees’ ability to get to their meetings. Of those, 29 percent are “very concerned,” and 48 percent are “somewhat concerned.”

To protect their organizations in the event of an airline shutdown, 44 percent are choosing to meet in hub cities that are served by a variety of carriers. Another 37 percent are avoiding booking certain financially troubled carriers. One in four are planning more drive-to meetings in order to avoid dependence upon air travel. And 19 percent are increasing their use of videoconferencing and/or Web conferencing as an alternative to meetings.

Also troubling to planners: new airline policies regarding the use of nonrefundable fares. Sixty-eight percent are “extremely concerned” that tickets not used on the day of travel will be rendered worthless by some carriers. Another 48 percent are extremely troubled by some airlines’ assertion that negotiated corporate discounts will no longer apply to nonrefundable fares.

On average, 66.2 percent of the airline tickets purchased for meetings rely on nonrefundable fares, according to the survey sample of 175 M&C readers; whether that will change is uncertain.

When asked if they expect attendees to purchase more refundable tickets in the future, 43 percent of respondents admitted they just don’t know. Nearly one-third (29 percent) do expect fewer flyers to risk using nonrefundable tickets. However, almost the same number 28 percent do not expect to see any change in attendees’ buying habits.



Art Pfenning is the corporate research director for NORTHSTAR Travel Media, LLC, M&C’s parent company.

What Association Executives Earn The gender gap in earnings grows in relation to size of organization, according to a 2001 compensation survey. Male CEOs Female CEOs Trade association $136,775 $92,125 Individual membership association $139,241 $85,204 Total staff size: 2 or fewer $75,000 $60,000 3 to 5 $95,640 $77,000 6 to 10 $116,550 $108,000 11 to 20 $138,200 $126,000 21 to 50 $201,923 $159,280 51 to 100 $237,900 $145,518 More than 100 $287,600 $249,233 Total annual budget: $300,000 or less $67,600 $54,789 $300,001 to $500,000 $75,600 $68,579 $500,001 to $750,000 $90,000 $72,800 $750,001 to $1 million $102,000 $87,525 $1,000,001 to $2.5 million $118,800 $112,425 $2,500,001 to $5 million $170,000 $137,100 $5,000,001 to $10 million $227,750 $160,585 $10,000,001 to $15 million $225,994 $171,750 More than $15 million $285,000 $256,269 Source: American Society of Association Executives

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