United May Head to Congress

United Airlines may be headed for Congressional hearings to discuss its recent plan to cut off a number of travel agencies from using its credit card merchant accounts.


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Congress has urged United to reconsider its new credit policy. // © Luis Argerich

United Airlines may be headed for Congressional hearings to discuss its recent plan to cut off a number of travel agencies from using its credit card merchant accounts.

Recently, 12 members of Congress signed a letter to United urging the carrier to delay and ultimately reconsider its new credit policy.

The press secretary for Rep. Michael Arcuri (D-N.Y.), one of the lead signers of the letter, acknowledged that Rep. Arcuri is considering calling for congressional hearings to discuss the matter before the House Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection subcommittee as early as September of this year.

United’s new credit card cost shifting plan was originally set to become effective on July 20 but, bowing to pressure from Congress and the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), the carrier decided to grant 60-day extensions to agents who asked for one.

ASTA is urging agents who received a notice from United to contact the carrier immediately to accept the extension. It also urged agents to visit its Web site, ASTA.org, to find sample letters to send to local congress representatives and the latest news on this matter.
www.asta.org; www.united.com

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