American Airlines stops accepting payments in Argentine pesos
By Hugh Bronstein
BUENOS AIRES Nov 25 (Reuters) - American Airlines has stopped accepting Argentine pesos to pay for tickets due to currency controls that make it hard to convert receipts into U.S. dollars, local media and one of the airline's sales agents said on Wednesday.
"That's the policy at this moment. It started two days ago," said an American Airlines sales agent contacted by Reuters.
A local spokesman for the airline, the world's largest, could not be immediately reached for comment.
Businesses have long complained about difficulty in accessing the currency exchange market in Argentina due to policies enacted by leftist President Cristina Fernandez, who will step down on Dec. 10 after two terms in office.
Conservative opposition candidate Mauricio Macri won Sunday's presidential election, promising to ditch trade and currency controls as part of a program of free-market reforms welcomed by big business.
Asked how long the prohibition, which includes cash and credit and debit card payments in pesos, would last, the American Airlines ticket agent said, "We don't know."
American Airlines, however, will continue accepting payments from customers in Argentina made on foreign credit cards, the agent said. Local media reported that ticket sales made before the airline's prohibition on Argentine cards would be honored.
The situation mirrors that in Venezuela where airlines have around $3.7 billion in ticket sales trapped because of the socialist nation's 12-year-old currency control system, the International Air Transport Association said in June. Continuación...