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Neil Maley

Staff Member
Dec 27, 2014
New York
They are two totally different animals.

ASTA is the American Society of Travel Agents and members are travel agencies that have been vetted to be in good standing within the travel industry. ASTA also represents the travel agent AND consumer when bills are passed in our government that may affect travel agents or the public.

IATAN is strictly for travel agents to become accredited with to receive discounted airline travel. (Not that there is any discounted air travel anymore). AN agency must prove sales and commission earned to be an IATAN agency.

Which is better depends on if you are a consumer or a travel agent. If you are a consumer, you want a travel agent that is a member of ASTA because if you have a complaint or a problem with an agency, ASTA will go to bat for you if the agency has truly done something to screw a client. An IATAN agent should also be a member of ASTA not only to show some credibility but to support an organization that fights for unfair regulations that are passed that hurt travel agencies and consumers.

If you are a travel agent an IATA card shows you have actual sales. It does nothing to help a consumer.

I hope that explains the difference.