The Travel Agents Association of India leadership had a meeting with Air India senior officials on March 18 to discuss the major issues faced by member agents. The major challenges highlighted included booking of Vande Bharat Flights only via Air India website, Refunds on GDS, and demand for 5 per cent agent commission from Air India on the total airfare.
TAAI wants Air India to help agents during these difficult times
The official letter sent to Air India by TAAI stated: “Since last year Air India had withdrawn the commission @1.5% and is only giving the same as an incentive on a monthly basis. There has to be a fixed formula to this and we reiterate our demand for a minimum of five percent as commission on the total airfare. This shall ensure that members who have provided financial security through IATA at a cost-plus their cost of sales and employment, so as to earn a living is justified, especially by the National Carrier.”
The statement continued: “We are hopeful that under your leadership, Air India being the National Carrier of India, gives due respect, opportunity to accredited agents and ensures rightful ease of doing business, especially during these challenging times.”
The letter further mentions, “Air India is the one of the airlines which is not permitting refunds on the GDS. Only once a month we receive circulars to refund the tickets on the GDS / RA(IATA) and under negative billing the same will not be processed. This is unfair. Member agents have always ensured timely payments to the airline/IATA as per the PSA Agreement / BSP Resolutions. You are required to open up the access to process refunds for previous refunds which were to be processed during the lockdown as well as for flights which have been cancelled or bookings cancelled on passenger action for immediate refund process in the billing cycle as prescribed by IATA without setting any further conditions and promptly refund the amounts as per the resolutions thereto. It is unfortunate that Air India is not supporting its accredited members who have supported the National Carrier over the decades. We shall appreciate if the GDS refund process without negative billing credits is opened up immediately for member agents. Further, we expect Air India to permit booking of all flights across all GDS systems. This shall empower more sales and bookings, effecting higher load factor and profits for the airlines.”