The Association of IATA Agents of India has approached the High Court of Kerala to ask the state government to allow it to operate its offices and facilitate ticketing and other travel requirements for the public. traveling by plane.
They argued in court that they could now meet the limited needs of travelers, as IATA travel agencies remained closed during the Covid lockdown, with a marginal number of employees working from home.
Travel agencies were unable to serve passengers when some of the airlines launched country-to-country operations on the basis of the “Air Bubble” deal – a temporary travel arrangement between two countries aimed at reviving the commercial passenger service in times of pandemic.
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Air Bubble’s intention, according to the petition, is to facilitate travel for international and domestic passengers stranded in various locations or those traveling for other compelling reasons including employment, business, health reasons. inevitable.
Some of the international passengers can get their tickets through online portals and airline websites when the trip was for only one destination. However, when multiple destinations are involved, many IATA accredited member agencies are approached for booking. But the service provided by IATA agents is very limited due to the options of working from home, causing inconvenience to passengers.
Also, the imposition of various restrictions in different countries is not available on online portals or airline websites. IATA-accredited travel agents would be aware of the details and therefore be able to properly guide passengers in advance. However, this facility can only be offered if IATA accredited agents are authorized to operate from their offices.
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With the increasing number of flights under the “Air Bubble” arrangement, more and more people have started to travel. However, due to the imposition of restrictions in various countries, many passengers face untold difficulties in undertaking their journey, going against the intention behind the “Air Bubble” program.