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TORONTO — ACTA is calling on suppliers to follow its newly-released best practice guidelines for issuing future travel credits / vouchers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The global COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the travel industry. ACTA is working with global travel agency associations and Canadian travel agency members on travel agency issues and sharing recommendations. ACTA believes that the travel industry will be stronger by working together with more efficient and consistent best practices in place – and is calling on all travel suppliers to get on board,” says ACTA President, Wendy Paradis.
Airlines and tour operators have almost exclusively been providing FTCs and vouchers instead of refunds, in alignment with guidance from the CTA, TICO, ACTA and more. Clients who persist in demanding refunds and/or pursuing credit card chargebacks leave agents caught in the middle of difficult disputes.
ACTA has been having regular meetings with the ACTA Board of Directors, the Canadian Corporate Travel Association (CCTA), and senior leaders from consortia, host agencies and ACTA’s 30 largest travel agency members, over the past several weeks, forming the ACTA COVID-19 Travel Agency Leaders Advisory Committee. ACTA has also been in touch with world travel trade organizations to compare best practices.
“During these Advisory Committee calls, as well as from feedback from our members coast to coast, we learned of the many challenges faced by members with respect to Future Travel Vouchers, Credit Card Chargebacks and the need for Commission Protection, during this new COVID-19 reality,” says Paradis.
She adds: “ACTA recognizes that travel agents must follow the terms and conditions of suppliers as legally, they are the agents of suppliers.”
Paradis says a separate task force has been formed to focus on Group bookings.
Here’s what ACTA is asking all travel suppliers to do:
1. Future Travel Vouchers (FTV)
2. Work to resolve Credit Card Chargebacks as the Merchant and
3. Protect and Pay Commission to the Travel Agency
4. Support the Travel Agent with clarity on the details of policy changes and coverage