Travel Agents FAQ

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Do any professional associations regulate travel agents?

No. Travel agents have to meet very few formal requirements. Most travel agents do belong to one or more professional associations, however, and each association has a code of ethics that requires its members to remain knowledgeable of developments within the travel industry and to refrain from engaging in misleading sales practices. Membership in a professional association is voluntary, however, and, if an agent violates the code of ethics, you have little recourse within the association.

If you have a complaint about a travel agent, ask someone in the travel agency if the agent belongs to a professional association and, if so, which one. Then contact the association and ask if the agent is a member in good standing. In some cases, an association may be able to help you if you have a complaint against one of their members. For example, the American Society of Travel Agents (www.asta.org) has a mediation program to help resolve disputes between travel agents and their clients.

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