Travel agency groups support ASTA in its fight against American Airlines: Travel Weekly

ASTA has gained international support in its fight against American Airlines’ distribution strategy.

Three groups have issued statements against American: the World Travel Agents Associations Alliance (WTAAA), Association of Canadian Travel Agencies and Travel Advisors (ACTA) and Foro Latinoamericano de Turismo (FOLATUR).

ASTA has taken issue with American removing a number of fares from legacy distribution systems and making them available only via New Distribution Capability (NDC) connections, as well as requiring travel agencies to achieve preferred status before their customers’ bookings earn loyalty points. 

ASTA has launched a consumer-facing website for advisors and their clients to send messages to legislators, asking for a congressional investigation into American. 

The WTAAA said American’s tactics “will fragment distribution, drive up costs and reduce transparency for consumers who seek to compare offerings across multiple airlines.”

The WTAAA also said American shows “disregard” for travel agencies and their service to consumers.

ACTA president Wendy Paradis said the move to restrict loyalty point eligibility from many agency bookings “will undoubtedly disadvantage consumers” booking with agencies.

FOLATUR predicted other airlines would follow American’s moves, affecting air passengers globally.

“There is a clear consensus among travel professionals around the world that American’s action will have a detrimental impact on the travel industry globally,” ASTA president and CEO Zane Kerby said. “American is operating in bad faith, looking to pad its bottom line at the expense of our valuable members and the millions of consumers who trust and rely on them to secure the best price, value and peace of mind when it comes to their business and personal travel.” 

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