A federal petition that calls for the protection of travel agent commissions is still seeking signatures as the Canadian government continues to iron out details of a potential bailout for airlines.
The petition was drafted by the Association of Canadian Independent Travel Advisors (ACITA) and sponsored by MP Marc Dalton (Pitt Meadows-Mapleridge, BC).
It was created when commission recalls was first made public when WestJet and Transat announced that they would provide refunds for trips cancelled due to COVID, ACITA said in a statement.
The petition outlines the commission recall issue in easy-to-read terminology and gives a clear call to action for Minister of Transport Marc Garneau to ensure that bailouts to airlines (and their tour subsidiaries) are conditional on the protection of travel advisor commissions.
Garneau has previously said that bailout agreements will be conditional on consumers receiving refunds for trips cancelled due to COVID-19.
The timing of the petition is strategic, said ACITA, as it is open to signatures until January 29th, at which time the House of Commons will resume its winter sitting.
"ACITA has been pleased with the number of travel advisors and agency owners who have scheduled meetings with their MP (over 115 to date) so that they can explain, on behalf of the travel advisor or agency owner, how devastating recalled commissions will be to the 24,000 Travel Advisors across Canada, forcing many into personal bankruptcy," ACITA said in a statement.
According to the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA), the total amount of commissions that will be recalled will amount to $200 Million, an amount that ACITA says will "decimate the travel advisor community."
As of Friday morning (Jan. 8), the petition showed only 1,826 signatures.
ACITA is urging travel pros to not only sign the petition, but to also share it on their business and personal social media pages.
The wording is very consumer friendly and is quick to point out that travel professionals support the option of consumer refunds.
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