Sabre has released a new capability that allows travel
agents in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to fill out a Cuba traveler
certification in Sabre Red Workspace, and send that form to airlines and
Sabre has been working closely with ASTA to implement the
feature, which fulfills federal regulations regarding travel to Cuba.
In January, new regulations were released that require
travel agents’ U.S. customers to sign a form stating the approved reason they
are traveling Cuba, according to Eben Peck, ASTA’s senior vice president of
government and industry affairs. Based on those regulations, ASTA this spring created
a sample certification form for its members to use.
Once a traveler designates which of the 12 approved reasons
will bring them to Cuba and signs the form, the travel agent must keep it for
five years, Peck said.
Sabre’s capability utilizes ASTA’s Cuba travel certification
form. It alerts agents when they have booked an itinerary that includes air
travel to Cuba, and lets them access the required certification form in the
Sabre workspace, transmit necessary data to airlines and email the form to
customers for their records.
While ASTA has talked to Travelport regarding the
certification, the group is primarily working with Sabre.
The capability, powered by API technology, became available to
agents and tour operators on Wednesday.
According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, persons
under U.S. jurisdiction can travel to Cuba for 12 reasons: family visits;
official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments and some
intergovernmental organizations; journalistic activity; professional research
and meetings; educational activities; religious activities; public
performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and
exhibitions; support for the Cuban people; humanitarian projects; activities of
private foundations or research or educational institutes; exportation,
importation or transmission of information or information materials, and
certain authorized export transactions.