Huckster Mark Marmor had enough complaints about air travel to fill Joe Sharkey’s latest “On The Road” column in the New York Times — “For Business Travelers Trips Worthy of a Rant”.
But for now, let me just hand the loudspeaker to the chatty Mr. Marmor, who has been on the road now for 38 years, carrying big suitcases full of movie and television photos to trade shows. Let me introduce him as a kind of business traveler Everyman.
Here he is on the rising costs of travel: “There are plenty of us in business who are — and there is no polite way to say this — cheapskates,” he said. “I’m always checking for a low fare. But now it’s like, oh, look, it’s advertised as $358 round trip! Then you go through the listings, and they’re all $600 flights. The $358 one? Well that’s no longer available, and it was two connections anyway. Forget it!”
International flying, Mr. Marmor said, also presents problems. “I just did a trip to Germany. A ticket I once paid 400 bucks for, I just paid $1,100, and that was booking two months in advance,” he said. “Actually, when you see how it’s broken down, the actual fare was like $350 and the rest was all taxes, fees and surcharges.”
Marmor has been a presence at cons for years – David Klaus says, “I met him at Media*West Con in East Lansing, Michigan in 1986. He was using the Omega Enterprises business name back then, too.”
Marmor’s distinguished history even includes a long-ago letter to the editor of Strange New Worlds disagreeing that con-goers can expect success haggling with hucksters for discounts after Jane Frank – one of Chicon 7’s guests of honor – outlined strategies for bringing down prices in “Negotiating the Rockey Waters of Collecting, A Helpful Guide on How to Get it For Less”.
[Thanks to David Klaus for the story.]