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International Agents Meet in VancouverSeptember 19, 2011 By: George Dooley Travel Agent
Unbundled airfares, ancillary fees, GDS surcharges, airline credit card levies and credit card fraud formed part of the discussion during the World Travel Agents Associations Alliance (WTAAA) meeting in Vancouver, Canada.
“It is critical that all airlines level the playing field and ensure that agents have access to all airline content and are able to easily access and facilitate payment for ancillary services through their preferred GDS. Additionally, WTAAA will continue to engage IATA (International Air Transport Association) in dialogue to overhaul the Passenger Agency Program, to make it more equitable and relevant in the current business environment,” said WTAAA chairman Peter Barlow.
The bi-annual board meeting and annual general assembly was held over two days, hosted by the Association of Canadian Travel Agents (ACTA). The WTAAA meets twice a year to discuss the management of issues that affect travel industry professionals across the world and to share common problem-solving strategies.
Barlow welcomed the international board and, in particular, ASTA CEO Tony Gonchar to the board for his first meeting.“We have had a robust two days discussing a range of issues that are relevant to all our members. Because we represent the majority of global airline settlement plans, airline matters continue to occupy much of the discussion,” said Barlow.
Also on the agenda were a number of broader industry affairs including agreement to strategically expand the WTAAA membership.
The meeting concluded with a function for the travel agents community in Vancouver hosted by Claude Morin, Air Canada and David McCaig, ACTA president and COO. Morin, vice president of global sales for Air Canada, took the opportunity to thank industry members for their support: “This is a challenging industry; it’s a volatile industry, but that being said, we are doing well because we have strong support from travel agents.” The WTAAA board of directors includes Tony Gonchar, CEO of ASTA.