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Businesses that purported to provide official travel agent credentials, entitling the owner to travel at 90-100% off the regular rate were popping up everywhere in the first half of the 1990's. They seemed to largely drop out of site during the peak of the internet boom, but now that the boom has turned into a bust, at least one such business has started to advertise through email newsletters sent by reputable sites such as zdnet.com.

In practice, these travel agent credentials occasionally worked, but many travel vendors tightened up in an effort to make sure that the highly discounted rates were available only to travel agents who did a certain minimum volume of business.

Never mind, say the promoters. The big money is to be made by referrals... can you say pyramid scheme?

Here are some participants in this line of business:

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