American Express made the decision to end its travel representative network this year because the way customers are booking travel is changing, according to the company.

"We're grateful to our representative network agencies for their collaboration and support of our card members over the years," American Express said in a statement Thursday. 

"The travel environment has changed and so has the way our customers book travel with us," the statement continued, "so we're moving away from a franchise model and discontinuing the U.S. Travel Network at the end of the year."

American Express representative agencies were recently made aware of the decision.

One, Cruise Planners, acknowledged in a message to travel advisors that many questions still remained, but said more would be shared in the coming weeks.

Its CEO and co-owner, Michelle Fee, said in a statement that the franchisor has "always been very proud" of its AmEx affiliation. However, Cruise Planners "has evolved into a powerhouse agency in the travel industry.

"We have enjoyed a mutually beneficial partnership for the past 18 years but look forward to this next chapter of continued growth and exceptional sales," Fee added.

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