European Agents Join Protest Over AA Fee Policy

The European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Association (ECTAA) expressed their opposition to American Airlines policy on booking fees, joining with the Association of Canadian Travel Agents (ACTA) in questioning AA’s policy.

In a letter to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Michel de Blust, ECTAA’s secretary general, asked IATA to examine American’s policy and AA’s threat to issue debit memos (ADM’s) to apply surcharges to Travelport bookings.

“As you may know, American Airlines notified non-U.S. agents on November 17 that from February 2011, it will apply ADMs to agents making bookings via Travelport reservation systems in order to pass on to agents the GDS booking fee paid by the airline,” ECTAA said citing IATA Resolution 850m on Issue and Processing of ADMs.

“The use of ADMs in relation with bookings and in relation with a commercial agreement that is irrelevant to the IATA Agency Programme does not correspond to the use foreseen in the resolution.” ECTAA said  “American Airlines has not consulted agents either individually, or through a local representation….on such alternative use of ADMs. We are unsure in any case if AA and agents could agree on an alternative use of ADMs for the purpose of collecting amounts related to a commercial agreement that is irrelevant to the IATA Agency Programme.”

ECTAA asked IATA to “recall to American Airlines the rules restricting the use of ADMs under the IATA Agency Programme. Besides, if AA was to apply anyway the ADMs described in its letter of 17 November, we would ask you to make sure that they are not processed by BSPs (Settlement plans).”


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