IATA-accredited Travel Agents all over India will soon be receiving Invoices from IATA for the annual additional amount of US$360 towards usage of the 2-tier BSP Link Access that is being implemented effective 1st January 2017.
IAAI has contended that, though it is required under IATA Res. 818g, the new BSPlink charges in India have not been listed through the agenda and neither discussed or approved nor recommended by the APJC-India as per the IATA procedures. Hence IATA’s decision to charge US$ 30 per month is totally illegal, arbitrary and unacceptable to the Indian Travel Agents Fraternity.
The Representatives of the Travel Agents Associations in APJC-India who are the Guardians of the Travel Agents Fraternity have been unsuccessful in either preventing or regulating the implementation of the new BSPlink enhanced charges that are subject to the terms of reference and authority set forth in IATA Res 818g. Hence, IAAI has assertively challenged and protested against the BSPlink charges categorically on the following points:
Ø Payment of Rs.28980 per location is NOT worthy as majority of airlines are on ‘zero’ commission.
Ø IATA must honour the PSA Agreement under Res 824 (9) which mandates remuneration.
Ø Additional payment to BSPlink will force Agents to violate National Law & collect Transaction Fee.
Ø BSPlink charges must have reciprocal benefits – Agents should be benefited with legal remuneration.
Ø Basic BSPlink facilities offered under 5.2 of BSP Agents Manual in 2011 are the fundamental rights and any additional activities over and above those facilities only can be treated as enhanced.
Ø No BSPlink enhancement was approved and recommended by APJC-India and, hence, the additional BSP charges are illegal and not acceptable.
Ø Even if the matter had been discussed and approved by the current APJC-India, it shall be illegal and unacceptable as Res 818g requires that all travel agents associations must be represented in the APJC. The present APJC-India comprises of TAAI & TAFI who represent only two-thirds of the travel agents by virtue of dual memberships and the rest one-third of travel agents represented through IAAI is still not yet a part of APJC-India which itself is a violation and contradiction to the IATA Resolutions.
Accordingly, on 15th November, IAAI has communicated to the IATA Regional Director at Singapore requesting the following actions immediately:
1) All functions including the RA facilities which are being presently available under Section 5.2 of the BSP Manuel are retained under ‘Basic User Account’ free of charge.
2) Ensure that any services that are to be henceforth provided over and above the basic functions offered under 5.2 presently, may be aligned as chargeable under the “Enhanced User Account” after processing the same through APJC-India.
3) Any discussions henceforth undertaken on IATA matters or affairs which fall under Res 818g may only be initiated upon reconstitution of APJC-India under Appendix F guidelines with IAAI representation.
The Government of India authorities and Ministry are also being alerted and notified on this subject matter.
IAAI has been the only Travel Trade Association that has risen to the occasion on behalf of the IATA-accredited Travel Agents in India – as in the matter of getting the Rs.20 lakhs Minimum Guarantee withdrawn in 2002, in getting the High Court of Kerala and the DGCA to issue Orders mandating Travel Agency commission, in getting IATA to invoke force majeure for the BSP payment by Tamil Nadu Travel Agents during the thunderstorm calamity in Nov/Dec 2015 and, recently, in retaining the Insurance Guarantee system actively as the only alternative to the Joint Bank Guarantee system.
And, IAAI affirms that it will go “the whole nine yards” and attempt to get a reversal on this unwarranted action by IATA.