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United’s New Merchant Policy Could Derail Agents' Profitability

July 6, 2009 By: George Dooley

Calling United Airlines credit card policy predatory and a masked fare increase, Jim Mazza, chief operating officer of TRAVELSAVERS, joined with other travel agency groups to condemn United’s policy.

“We seriously hope that United will understand the negative situation they’re creating and rethink their position," Mazza said. "This predatory arrangement is opening a Pandora’s box and can cause irreparable damage to both the travel industry and United Airlines. We’ve been inundated with calls from our licensees who are up in arms about United’s new merchant policy.  Many travel agents have told us that United’s nearsighted actions of charging them for the privilege of selling their product will force them to look at the alternatives and make booking decisions that are best for their agency and clientele.

“We see this move by United as a masked fare increase and a sign of the economic pressures the airline is under," Mazza continued. " But that in no way justifies shifting the entire burden of credit card costs to travel agents and ultimately to the traveling public.  Neither should be forced to take on United’s cost of doing business,” Mazza said.

TRAVELSAVERS has 3,000 agency members. Visit

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