Save Travel Agency From Airlines Industry

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We are the travel agents who sell airline tickets to consumers like you on behalf of airline companies. As a travel agent, our salary is earned through commission from each airline ticket sold on behalf of airline companies. Each booking is unique, some may be simple and easy, and some can take days to book. Airlines determine the commission that is paid to the travel agent. Some tickets are paid on a low commission, and some tickets are even a noncommission ticket, meaning no salary to your local travel agent. As your local travel agent we face competition with big online companies, including the airlines own website and 3rd party booking websites. We provide an irreplaceable human service that online services cannot offer.

Airline companies continue to cut commission from your local travel agents. Low airfare tickets have restrictive fare rules and can take a significant amount of time to search and book especially during busy travel seasons. Low airfare tickets are often restrictive resulting to heavy cancellation fees or rebooking fees. Most low airfare tickets sold is non-refundable, complex, and your travel agent receives a very small insignificant commission.

A big concern that has been brought to my attention, on a significant level, is the cancellation or refund of a ticket. Airline companies have an unreasonable rule, where they take back earned commission from your travel agent when tickets are refunded. We help our clients refund the ticket on behalf of the airline company, usually the airline charges you a penalty. None of that penalty, or originally earned commission, goes to your travel agent who put in the work and go the extra mile to book and cancel the ticket.

The irreplaceable service your local travel agents offer is under threat by the large airline company websites. Their websites take more than 50% of bookings for nearly 10 years. The future of your friendly local travel agent is in jeopardy because airline companies provide unfair commission rates and create unfair circumstances for the ones who are putting in the most work to truly care and understand their clients.

After 40 years of working in the travel industry as a local travel agent in Vancouver, BC, I feel very frustrated. Times like these, during the COVID-19 pandemic, are when my clients need me most. This is when we need human to human connection and not an automated service that doesn’t understand your specific and unique needs during these constantly evolving times. These situations are causing local travel agents to suffer, putting our local tourism at risk and will continue to create frustrating situations for clients and consumers like you.

By creating a human connection, local travel agents are able to truly care for their clients and help provide a stress free and, most importantly, a safe journey. They are a small fraction in the multi-billion dollar tourism industry, but local travel agents create a big impact and are significant to the experience of the tourism industry.

-       Airline companies need to stop retracting earned commission when a ticket is refunded, especially when airlines companies charge a refund penalty to the consumer.

-       There is no regulation to protect travel agents from airline companies. There is also no regulation for standard commission rates. Current commission rates barley cover operation costs and wages for even a small travel agency. Travel agents are often taken advantage of by large airline companies.

These issues have been ongoing in the travel industry for decades. This unfair treatment from large airline companies to local travel agents are now amplified and brought to the forefront during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We ask you to support your local travel agents in your community, across Canada and globally. Sign this petition to start the conversation, this will help bring these issues to the federal government to apply pressure on airline companies to make changes to their policies and better their relationships with travel agents. Ultimately, these changes will support your local travel agents who provide you an irreplaceable human service and assist you best with providing you a stress free and safe travels.