Travel agents are yet to take a final decision on levying “transaction fees” from air passengers after airlines’ decided to do away with their commission from November 1 as a cost-cutting measure.
Travel agents have been lobbying for restoration of the five per cent commission per ticket. Officials of the Travel Agents Association of India were in a meeting at the time this report was filed.
Travel agents are divided over how to handle the new situation. Many say that they would be forced to charge transaction fees from passengers, since airlines had stopped commissions.
“We have to charge if we sell tickets to passengers. Airlines have stopped paying commission to agents, but against the transaction fees we provide value added services to our consumers,” Ritika Modi, regional president of Uniglobe Travel told Hindustan Times.
India has nearly 30,000 travel agents and about 3,000 of them are accredited with the International Air Travel Association (IATA).
They feel that stopping commission might prove counterproductive for the airlines, as a bulk of air traffic is driven by travel agents.
“We can forego transaction fees if airlines pay us the 5 per cent commission. Airlines should stop fooling passengers as ATF prices have come down significantly,” Keyur Joshi, co-founder makemytrip.com, said.