The Association of Retail Travel Agents (ARTA) and the Association of Retail Travel Agents – Canada (ARTA Canada) have written to Dave Myrick, Vice President, Sales – Americas, at United Airlines seeking to open constructive dialogue in the matter of United’s shift of credit card merchant status to various travel agents.
“We feel it’s important to speak with each other, not at each other, to identify the specific issues and work collaboratively to solve them”, said Pat Funk, Executive Director of ARTA.
The two associations were prompted by United’s overtures to enter into discussions with the travel agency community to determine if there are viable and mutually-acceptable solutions to address the challenges of distribution and payment costs facing United and travel agents.
“Addressing this matter along with our U.S. counterpart in a sit-down with United will be essential in sharing the concerns of Canadian travel agencies which fear the credit card policy may eventually cross into Canada. We wish to work with United in any way we can to achieve a satisfactory result which will benefit both agents and the carrier”, said Bruce Bishins, CTC, President of ARTA Canada.
ARTA and ARTA Canada have put together a combined working group of U.S. and Canadian travel agency representatives, ready to meet with United as soon as possible on behalf of the travel agency community-at-large on both sides of the border.