The Consumer Travel Alliance (CTA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works to provide consumers an articulate and reasoned voice in decisions that affect travel consumers across all of travel’s spectrum. CTA’s staff gathers facts, analyzes issues, and disseminates that information to the public, the travel industry, regulators and policy makers.
CTA seeks to help improve consumer understanding of our planet’s travel environment, including the fields of aviation, rail, cruising, telecommunications, banking, Internet and insurance as it relates to the freedom to travel and protection of consumers during their travel activities.
CTA is the leading force that supports an individual consumer’s freedom to travel whether for business or leisure. Through our efforts, the focus is put on how travel rules and regulations, national laws and corporate policies affect the consumer’s interests, attitudes and trends.
CTA expands the dialogue between the government, travel industry sectors and travelers to improve overall understanding of consumer travel issues, create an educated travel consumer, encourage travel and tourism and ease restrictions and regulations that hinder movement of tourists and their spending.
CTA works to advance pro-consumer travel policy on a variety of issues before Congress, the White House, federal and state regulatory agencies, state legislatures, and the courts. Its staff works with public officials to promote beneficial policies, to oppose harmful policies and to ensure a balanced debate on important issues and trends in which travel consumers have a stake.
CTA researches and analyzes travel legislation or regulatory proposals; monitors and reports on developments; attends congressional or regulatory hearings; works with coalitions interested in the same issues; and then educates not only government officials but also employees and corporate officers as to the implications of various changes.
CTA investigates and reports on consumer travel issues buried in complex laws, rules, regulations and policies and works to educate travelers, corporate executives and legislators about the consumer impact of these issues. This continuing reporting also provides the basis for further consumer travel initiatives, public service advertising and consumer travel information and travel education efforts.
CTA disseminates information on consumer issues to the public and the media, as well as to policymakers and other public interest advocates through reports, news releases, a newsletter, op-eds and a website.
Scope of travel activities
The CTA definition of travel spans the following entities and activities :
— Government (U.S., Canadian and EU) agency rules and regulations
— Government legislation
— Government statistics
— Lobbying efforts by various industries that affect consumer travel
— Airline policies, contracts, rules and customer commitment programs
— Frequent flier programs
— Cruise line policies, rules and regulations
— Automobile rental regulations and taxation
— Hotels, condominiums and other lodging
— Web communications and access
— Climate change
— Banking and access of money while traveling
— Credit cards rules and foreign transaction fees
— Immigration, passport and border controls for visitors
— Visas and the governmental visa processes
— Travel insurance
— Medical insurance
— Legal representation
— Transportation Security Administration requirements
— U.S. Department of Transportation’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division
— Travel Agencies
CTA is a membership organization made up of both individual and corporate members that share an interest in promoting consumer travel rights and facilitate the freedom to travel both domestically and internationally.
Charlie Leocha, Director, authored the only book focused on Travel Rights, was heard on more than a hundred radio stations with his Travel Tips program, served as MSNBC’s TV travel guru for a year, appeared as a travel expert on scores of news programs, authored an additional 30 travel guides, been published in America’s top magazines and newspapers, started a magazine for the American military stationed in Europe (it is still being published) and has now moved to Washington, DC, to bring the consumer travel message directly to Congressmen and their staffers as well as regulators. See Charlie Leocha’s bio here.
Christopher Elliott, is the current Ombudsman for National Geographic Traveler, writes a national Troubleshooter column for Tribune Syndicates, has a regular column with MSNBC.com and he is the author of the new Navigator column published by the Washington Post and syndicated to hundreds of newspapers. He has been involved with consumer issues since the early 90s and was the founder of ticked.com that was part of the original AOL travel pages and eventually morphed into ConsumerTraveler.com.
Edward Hasbrouck, Policy Analyst, is the author of an acclaimed series of travel how-to and advice books, an award-winning investigative travel journalist and blogger, and an insider with 15 years of industry experience in the online airline ticket business. Hasbrouck has been featured in a BBC-TV travel documentary and in NPR reports about stories he’s broken, spoken at National Geographic Society headquarters, been quoted as a travel expert in every major national news outlet, testified before the TSA and other Federal committees and as an expert witness in consumer lawsuits, and participated in numerous travel-related Federal regulatory proceedings as an advocate for consumers’ rights, civil liberties, and privacy.
The principals of the Consumer Travel Alliance have shown decades of personal commitment to consumer travel issues.