To become a licensed IATA travel agent, applicants must meet minimum criteria unique to their country, fill out an application form and pay an application fee. In the United States, the accreditation is offered to those who run a business or operate as a sole proprietorship.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) serves as the trade association for airlines around the world. More than 250 airlines are members of IATA, which represents approximately 84 percent of all the flight traffic in the world. IATA accreditation enables travel agents to work directly with airlines who are members of the IATA, by helping simplify the purchasing and invoicing process for domestic and international flights.