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After Connie Chung’s ‘Travel Scam’ expose, before hidden city ticketing, airlines and hotels made authentication of travel industry personnel a priority. Before the Connie Chung story, a business card with the word ‘travel’ was all that was needed to SAVE BIG. A business card produced first class upgrades from the cheapest coach fares. Delta also offered a $50 standby program. To qualify, you just showed up at the gate with a travel agent business card and a $50 bill. If Delta had empty seats, they’d let you fly. Travel agent discounts were never about educating or rewarding agents, but about filling empty seats without distorting retail fare structures. Before Connie Chung, airlines didn’t care who was using the discounts. As long as the seat was filled, that’s all that mattered