ACITA Survey Tracks Impact Of Disruptions

In a recent survey, the Association of Canadian Independent Advisors (ACITA) asked its members and all travel advisors how the recent airline and tour operator cancellations have affected their bottom line.

It was no surprise that nearly 86% of respondents said their affected bookings were with Sunwing Vacations or Sunwing airlines.  Over half of those affected are in Saskatchewan.

After Sunwing’s decision to cancel their program out of the province for the remainder of the winter season, advisors and travellers were left scrambling to make alternate arrangements.

Key responses from the survey include:


* 20% had up to $30K in commissions recalled.

* 4% had between $31-$70K recalled.

* 52% of agents affected are from Saskatchewan.

* 57% of the cancellations took place between Dec. 29, 2022 and early January 2023

* 37% of the cancellations took place between Dec.16 and Dec. 29 during the ‘weather-related ordeal,’ according to Hon. Minister Alghabra.

* 52% of agents spent the equivalent of 1 to 2 days working on those files after the initial booking was made — this included processing refunds for their clients.


Overwhelmingly one of the biggest complaints noted was the lack of communication from airlines and tour operators. Over one-third of advisors said they received NO communication whatsoever.

Advisors shared that their primary source of information was directly from their clients, a press release, or social media, instead of from the airlines or tour operators.

Many airlines and tour operators are pushing for the use of their apps. Travellers complained information on the apps was inaccurate, not up to date, or differed from airport information and flight tracking apps.

As the industry comes back from COVID, Travel Advisors are again having commissions recalled by the airlines and tour operators. The survey results highlight the continued need for ACITA to advocate for commission protection for all Advisors.

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