An American Airlines Aarp Travel ban was “unprevious” and “unusual,” according to Texas travel officials.
The order was issued by state Transportation Secretary Carlos Lopez on Wednesday afternoon, which suspends travel to the United States and some U.S. territories for 90 days and suspends all visa programs for six months.
The order is the first such one issued by the state.
“We don’t anticipate that the public will be impacted by the Aarp restriction,” Texas Transportation Secretary Ricardo Lopez said in a statement.
“This is a temporary suspension of the Aarsp program, not a blanket suspension.
We continue to monitor and investigate these issues and will provide updates as necessary.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in an interview with the Houston Chronicle that the suspension of travel is “unfortunate.”
“This was an unprecedented and unprecedented measure,” he said.
“It’s unprecedented and unfortunate that we have to take it upon ourselves to suspend the travel of citizens of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, Japan, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.”
The ban has already sparked outrage among travel agents, who are saying they will no longer take American Airlines.
AARP Traveler Executive Director Jeff Daulerio told CNN on Wednesday that he was concerned the ban would lead to fewer travelers coming to Texas and would have a “chilling effect” on the travel industry.
Texas has seen a rise in the number of passengers flying to and from the United Nations this year.
In May, nearly 1,500 people visited the United Nation’s headquarters, with another 4,700 coming for the meeting, according to the UN.
AARP Travelers CEO Jim Hickey said on Twitter that the travel ban “will not prevent us from being a valued and trusted member of the travel community, but it will impact the travel sector and the economy.”
Hickey told CNN that the ban is also “unnecessary,” given the “real threat” posed by the Ebola virus.
“The Aarsps are a small and essential part of our travel and travel-related industries,” he added.