Released: 7 June 2019
The Board of Airline Representatives of South Africa (BARSA) has noted with concern the statement made by ASATA CEO, Otto de Vries, attacking IATA Resolution 830d as “being impractical, onerous and therefore unreasonable”.
IATA’s Resolution 830d requires agents to ask clients for consent to share contact details with airlines. If the client does not give consent, the agent must insert this refusal into the Passenger Name Record (PNR).
ASATA’s response to this statement claims that sharing client personal information with airlines is “inconsistent with both the EU data protection laws and the POPI Acts and is unreasonable”.
“This statement by ASATA is alarmist, misleading and sends a wrong message to the travel industry” says BARSA CEO, June Crawford.
“The claim that the purpose of the resolution is ‘another way for airlines to cut agents out of the supply chain and market to consumers directly’ as ASATA says, is disingenuous and goes directly against the spirit of customer centric service. Section 4 of Resolution 830d clearly outlines why client contact information is required, and this is simply “to be able to advise passengers of irregular flight operations and disruptions”, says Crawford.
All over the world, passenger details are inserted in bookings so that airlines are able to communicate with the passengers especially where emergencies arise, or flight disruptions occur.
“In many instances, agents do not communicate with their clients when these disruptions occur, and clients find themselves arriving at the airport only to be disappointed, get angry and refuse to accept the airlines resolution when flights are cancelled or delayed. This resolution covers off communication with passengers in the event of a delay or disruption only. Customers will see this as part of the seamless travel proposition we are jointly working on with the agents”, explains Crawford.
Agents are not always available on email or on the telephone especially over weekends and not all of them provide a “round the clock” service to their clients.
South Africa needs to comply with global standards, we are not living in isolation to the world and are therefore obliged to adopt global standard practices.
“Rather than continuing to be concerned with the airlines ‘stealing’ their business, perhaps Agents should be focused on developing value propositions that add value to their clients and companies”, Crawford insists.
Collaboration between airlines and the travel and tourism industry is very important for BARSA.
We all need to work tirelessly and together, to look at what is best for the customer, embrace the changes that we all know are coming and offer added value. IATA Resolution 830d needs to be implemented in full for the benefit of the customer”, June Crawford concludes.
Note to editors:
The Board of Airline Representatives of South Africa (BARSA) represents the interests of its African and International members to government, airport operators and other stakeholders in the airline industry with the aim of facilitating and further developing a safe, efficient and viable aviation industry in South Africa. BARSA provides a single concerted voice on policy and other matters in relation to government and other stakeholders in transport, business and tourism. As members of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), BARSA remains a critical role player, offering a voice to African and International airlines operating to and from the Republic of South Africa. www.barsa.co.za
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