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Global Travel Advisor Groups Raise Concerns around American Airlines’ Anti-Competitive Actions

World Travel Agents Associations Alliance (WTAAA), Association of Canadian Travel Agencies and Travel Advisors (ACTA) and Foro Latinoamericano de Turismo (FOLATUR) Join ASTA in Speaking Out to Protect Travel Advisors and Consumers


Alexandria, VA, April 12, 2024 – The World Travel Agents Associations Alliance (WTAAA), Association of Canadian Travel Agencies and Travel Advisors (ACTA), and Foro Latinoamericano de Turismo (FOLATUR) have joined the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) in sounding the alarm about American Airlines’ latest ploy to force travelers to use AA’s new, proprietary booking tool that leads to reduced consumer choice and higher costs. These three organizations, representing hundreds of thousands of travel advisors in more than 75 countries, each issued statements in response to American Airlines’ new policy, which will threaten the travel advisor industry globally.

Starting on May 1, American will no longer award AAdvantage rewards to flyers unless they book directly through American owned or preferred channels. This means that travelers who book flights with a travel agency could lose their right to earn miles. In their letters, all three organizations echoed concerns previously raised by ASTA, about the impact of American’s actions:

“American is actively discouraging travelers from booking through the travel agency channel. …This heavy-handed tactic will fragment distribution, drive up costs, and reduce transparency for consumers who seek to compare offerings across multiple airlines. It also demonstrates a troubling disregard for the critical role that travel agencies play in serving travelers, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic when their expertise and personalized service were more valuable than ever.” – WTAAA

“Restricting the ability to earn loyalty points through these channels will undoubtedly disadvantage consumers who value booking through their trusted travel partners. Furthermore, this decision will have far-reaching consequences for the openness and competitiveness of the travel marketplace. By leveraging its position to restrict consumer choice, American Airlines is engaging in practices that will lead to higher prices, stifled innovation, and a less dynamic travel industry.”  – ACTA President Wendy Paradis

“If undeterred, AA will continue with its ever-increasing discriminating pattern, and other airlines in the oligopolistic air transportation market will certainly follow … Both air passenger in the US and foreign markets are and will increasingly be negatively affected by these anticompetitive business practices.” – FOLATUR

“It’s clear from the consensus among WTAAA, ACTA and FOLATUR, representing travel professionals around the world, the detriment that American’s decision will have on the travel industry globally,” said Zane Kerby, President & CEO of ASTA. “American is operating in bad faith, looking to pad its bottom line at the expense of our valued clients and the millions of consumers who rely on their trusted travel advisor to help them secure the best price, value and peace of mind when it comes to their business and personal travel.”

ASTA recently launched the Save My Miles campaign to raise awareness and amplify the voices of travel advisors and consumers who will be impacted by American’s decision. For more information, visit:



Rebranded in 2018 as the American Society of Travel Advisors, ASTA is the leading global advocate for travel advisors, the travel industry and the traveling public. Its members represent 80 percent of all travel sold in the United States through the travel agency distribution channel. Together with hundreds of internationally-based members, ASTA’s history of industry advocacy traces back to its founding in 1931 when it launched with the mission to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. For more information about the Society, visit our mission statement.  




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