Advocacy

IATA/Airlines

A significant segment of our Advocacy has centered on IATA related initiatives and/or issues. While not all members are IATA appointed agencies, many agencies still make air bookings through other distribution channels and consequently, it is essential that ACTA is at the meeting table with IATA’s members, the airlines, ensuring that the issues of the agency community are heard and recognized.

 

Issue

ACTA’s Goal

Progress January – April 2019

Agency Debit Memos

Reduce ADM’s

– ADM Project Team is working on Commission Control (currently not used in Canada)

– ACTA has repeatedly followed up on the implementation in Canada of Net Remit 5, a special filing system for contracts that may help reduce ADMs.

– In a one-on-one meeting with the Head of IATA DPC, OPS at the end of January, ACTA learned that the system is now functional, however IATA is waiting for the airlines to upload data. ACTA is communicating with both the airlines and IATA to ensure that this project becomes operational and members can begin to see improvements in the whole ADM process.

NewGen ISS

Choice of Accreditation models for ACTA Members, without disruptions

– Members are still being challenged with NewGen ISS and specifically the confusion and delays caused when:

i) trying to opt out of submitting financial statements,

ii) trying to apply for easy pay, and

iii) trying to apply for and be recognized by IATA for the Global Default Insurance program.

– ACTA will work on developing clear steps to assist members with the processes as well as providing the differences between the various IATA accreditation models and IATA’s TIDS accreditation.  

TIP Initiative

Acceptance of Travel Agency Credit cards, and more efficient process

– Agents can now enroll their own credit card through BSPLINK, but consent from the airlines to use their own credit card must be received prior to using the card. Without approval, an agent may receive an ADM.

Local Financial Criteria (LFCs)

Alternative to the costly Review Engagement process

– The proposed new LFC was approved by the APJC in July 2018, approved by the global airlines in October 2018 and became effective March 1, 2019.

– ACTA was successful in requesting that agents be provided with options to the costly Review Engagements with the implementation of NewGen ISS. 

 

Passenger Agency Programme Review Taskforce – NEW

 

Engage in honest, open dialogue to agree on a Simplified Passenger Agency Programme governance based on better and stronger collaboration.

– Some members of the World Travel Agents Association Alliance (WTAAA) including ACTA, have agreed to engage IATA and their airline members and participate on the Passenger Travel Agency Programme Review Taskforce. The hope is that, among other things, the governance model will change and sensitive issues, such as the unanimous position taken by the IATA airline members at the global airline meeting in November 2018, regarding the Travel Agency Commissioner (TAC) Program and Local Financial Criteria (LFC), would not be circumvented.

– ACTA participated in a global meeting of Travel Agency associations and IATA at the end of January and again in early April, where discussions were collaborative. Early reports show progress being made on the two major issues of the TAC and LFC programs.


Provincial Regulators  

Issue / Province

ACTA Goal

Progress January – April 2019

Ontario

Reduce financial burden on Members, improve efficiency and lobby for consumer-pay model

– Industry Associations (ACTA and CATO) are aligned with the message: The burden to fund the Compensation Fund is on Ontario Travel Agencies and Tour Operators and this financial burden is unfair, costly and unsustainable. 

– According to a Deloitte Report commissioned by TICO, the Ontario Compensation Fund is under-funded if the government’s goal remains to include global end supplier failure such as airlines and cruise lines.  This would mean more than doubling the current fund from $21 million to $50 million.

– The only sustainable solution is that the travel compensation fund must be funded by travel consumers, who benefit from the fund, just like most of the other jurisdictions around the world and in Quebec.  

– ACTA will be hosting a consultation on Tuesday May 28, 2019 at the ACTA office in Mississauga to update our Ontario members on the ON Travel Industry ACT lobbying activities and next steps.

Québec

Reduce financial burden on Members, improve efficiency

– New regulations in effect as of August 1, 2018.  Highlights of successes and areas that require continued lobbying were sent by ACTA to our Members.

– Effective January 1, 2019, consumers no longer have to contribute into the Quebec FICAV (the consumer compensation fund), since the Fund is well over the maximum Fund level of $75M.

BC

Reduce financial burden on Members, improve efficiency

– Consumer Protection BC released their 2019 – 2021 Business Plan. This plan highlights where they will be putting their efforts over the next three years. Although Consumer Protection BC is responsible for regulating various industries, there does not appear to be anything specific within the Business Plan that is concerning to the Travel Industry.

– ACTA BC Sub-Committee is compiling scenarios in regulations requiring updating.


Federal Government Relations

Issue

ACTA Goal

Progress January – April 2019

Air Passenger Bill of Rights

Balanced approach across Canada

– The Canadian Transportation Agency released proposed air passenger protection regulations (APPR) late December 2018 allowing for a 60-day response. ACTA was contacted for comment by media immediately following Minister Garneau’s announcement to speak on behalf of our Members.

– ACTA conducted ongoing research and consultations with stakeholders and the ACTA CTA Review Committee and submitted our recommendations by the February 20, 2019 deadline.

 


Insurance

Issue

ACTA Goal

Progress January – April 2019

Alberta Insurance

Reduce barriers for IC’s selling insurance in Alberta

– The ability for independent agents of a host agency to sell insurance in Alberta continues to present challenges with some members having their insurance license held in a “holding pattern”, while the Alberta Insurance Council (AIC) requests more information. ACTA followed up directly with AIC and was referred to the new online application process versus the traditional paper process. AIC acknowledged that some back-up documentation was not being provided. AIC also acknowledged that they launched a targeted audit campaign on E&O with travel agency Independent Contractors. More details on the three areas where AIC are seeing non-compliance are identified on the ACTA website http://acta.ca/news-releases/aic1122.

– ACTA had the opportunity to meet with Calgary MLA Richard Gotfried. Mr. Gotfried is familiar to the travel industry having worked for Cathay Pacific Airways as Regional Manager for the Prairies for many years. The meeting was an opening to express our concerns about the constraints placed on travel agents selling travel health insurance in the province of Alberta, and our recommendations. As Alberta heads into an election, it is important that ACTA and our Member Agencies voice these concerns.