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Travel agents want transaction fee ban review

Travel agent associations TAAI and TAFI are petitioning the apex court following the decision to ban transaction fees.

The agencies are seeking a review of the directive as affected parties.

“We will petition the apex court for modifications in its directives and interim measures. We want a status quo ante,” Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) legal advisor Bhupendra Singh Chauhan told reporters.

The court directed all airlines on 23 January to not charge fees, something industry bodies have been fighting for for years, but a petition is being filled as “the court directives have been left open for interpretation”.

The directives came following a public interest petition in the Supreme Court. Previously, the DGCA had, in a circular asked all airlines to refrain from charging transaction fees, or booking fee ranging between Rs 350 and Rs 10,000 per ticket.

But travel agents say banning the transaction fee will be damaging.

“Currently 85-90 percent of the ticketing is made through travel agents, who not only facilitate ticket bookings but a host of other services such as visa and forex requirements etc of the passenger,” TAAI president Iqbal Mulla said.

”The absence of transaction fee will lead to massive unemployment as all costs are borne out of such fees.”

The bodies have reportedly already held talks with ministry officials.

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