Agent Issues United Airlines foists credit card costs on some travel agencies By Nadine Godwin / June 24, 2009 Share 1 -- United Airlines has put an undetermined number of travel agencies on notice that they can no longer utilize United's merchant account when booking any United product, effective July 20. United told the agents that when accepting any credit cards for payment, they would have to use their own merchant accounts and settle with United with cash.The carrier warned that the policy applies to any subagents using the selected agencies as their hosts. It also warned that erroneous use of United's merchant account on or after July 20 will result in a debit memo of $75 per ticket.United advised further that it was not considering allowing the selected agencies to pay for third-party access to its merchant account.It is unclear how many travel agencies were targeted in the United letter, nor how those agencies were selected. Industry consultant Robert Joselyn said the move appeared to be a "very serious beta testing of shifting the cost of credit card purchases to the agency."Alternatively, it could push agencies to book at the carrier's website rather than the GDSs, leaving United to pay credit card merchant fees but bypass GDS fees.