Agents face more demands for passenger data

Agents already struggling to cope with demands to collect passenger information have been warned the situation is only likely to get worse following last week’s failed cargo bomb plot.

Abta has warned the ongoing security threat posed by international terrorists means all countries are likely to move towards stricter US-style procedures.

However, agents said they were already facing increased workloads by having to pass on Advanced Passenger Information (API) on behalf of a wider range of airlines that stipulate a bewildering array of data requirements. 

Amanda Matthews, managing director of Designer Travel, said although agents were not legally required to process the information, it was taking up increasing amounts of time and resource.

She said: “You have to take responsibility for this for the customer, but every single business is asking for different information at different times.”

Helen Hawke, partner of Newell’s Travel, added: “We’ve certainly been collecting more information. All the airlines and operators want different things; it would be so much easier if we knew what they needed.”

Susan Parsons, Abta’s trade relations manager, expects all countries to adopt US-style procedures eventually.

“Sooner or later, if you want to book an airline ticket you will have to give all this information anyway, so people will get used to it,” she added.

Last weekend it emerged that one of two bombs thought to have originated in the Yemen had been carried on to two passenger flights to Dubai. A second was discovered at East Midlands airport.

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