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February 6, 2013News for travel agents

  Business and Industry Watch 
  • Other News
  Trends and Technology 
  • Sabre introduces cloud-based suite of post-booking tools
    Sabre Travel Network has announced the development of its Automated Task Library, a set of cloud-based tools designed to automate several post-booking processes for travel agents. "The product has already proven extremely effective during the initial limited release. One large travel management company reported more than $1 million in savings annually by automating the process of monitoring for PNRs that were not yet ticketed," said Chris Kroeger, a senior vice president at Sabre. Travel Weekly (2/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Culture abounds on Mississippi River cruises
    American Cruise Lines and American Queen Steamboat Co. feature themed cruises on the Mississippi River that explore jazz music, Civil War history, Cajun and Creole food, and more. American Cruise offers a Mark Twain cruise from St. Louis to St. Paul that focuses on Samuel Clemens and the Mississippi as his inspirational backdrop. The cruise includes a Twain impersonator and a special tour of his hometown of Hannibal, Mo. TravelAge West (2/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Airports work to enhance traveler layovers
    Airport upgrades around the world have widened passengers' layover options from being forced to reread old magazines to taking a relaxing dip in a rooftop pool. Delta Air Lines has invested in enhancing technological amenities at its terminals, and has done away with fast-food outlets in favor of high-class restaurants. Incheon Airport in Seoul, Korea, offers an ice-skating rink, while Changi Airport in Singapore offers free gaming rooms and a 24-hour movie theater. CNN (2/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Hotels offer creative modes of transport
    Hotels are offering more than typical shuttle service, giving guests the ability to get around on land and water. The Affinia Dumont and Affinia Shelburne in Manhattan provide free bikes, while Conrad New York and Conrad Miami offer bike rentals. The Peninsula property in Bangkok offers four riverboats and an open air taxi (known as a tuk tuk), while the Italy's Four Seasons Hotel Firenze rents Vespas and guests can rent Segways at Berlin's Circus Hotel. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Consumer Travel News 
  Regulatory and Legislative 
  • TSA: No need to remove Super Bowl programs from bags
    Jonathan Allen, a Transportation Security Administration spokesman, said the TSA is aware that United Airlines has instructed passengers to remove heavy Super Bowl programs from their bags to avoid setting off an alarm. But TSA is "not advising passengers to do anything different" and will inform officials at United about its stance on the issue. WWL-TV (New Orleans) (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Best Practices 
  • Column: E-mail marketing should be short, with a personal touch
    E-mail marketing efforts are more effective when the messages don't take too long too read, writes Ron Cates, a director at Constant Contact. "Reading speed on a computer screen is 30% to 40% slower than on print. Your customers and prospects are time-starved and don't have a minute to waste," Cates writes. The marketing message should also have a human touch and exude the business' personality. (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Small-Business Strategies 
  • Customer complaints often stem from poor communication
    Poor communication is often to blame when problems arise between businesses and their customers, writes BBB's Eleanor Katzele. "Even when the business can't do what the customer wants, just choosing to respond to their requests can often de-escalate the issue," she writes. Citing an article by John Heckers, she adds that you can improve your communication skills by listening carefully to other people and avoiding the use of jargon. The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.) (free content) (2/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Don't be a social media robot
    Too many small businesses act like robots when it comes to using social media, using automated posting systems and form comments to populate their feeds. That's a big turn-off for consumers, Susan Payton writes. "People follow brands that seem like they’re run by humans. Show that yours is by writing your tweets like -- you guessed it -- a person," she advises. Small Business Trends (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASTA Spotlight 
  • Hazardous Materials Notification Rule delayed to 2015
    In a Final Rule issued on Jan. 7, the Department of Transportation (DOT) formally pushed back the effective date of its Hazardous Materials Notification Rule (49 CFR 175.25) from Jan. 1, 2013, to Jan. 1, 2015. Late last year, ASTA requested that the government delay the rule to give the industry more time to answer industry stakeholders' concerns. The Hazard Materials Rule prohibits carriers, and their agents, from completing a ticket purchase until the purchaser affirmatively indicates that he/she understands the restrictions on hazardous materials in baggage. ASTA will represent its members during the rule-making process and communicate changes as they occur. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Empower your staff with access to ASTA's resources
    Join ASTA today and give your staff the tools and insight they need to remain successful in this fast-paced and changing industry. With ASTA's U.S. Travel Agency membership, extend valuable and critical industry resources to your entire company. Contact ASTA's Membership Department at 1-800-440-2782 to learn more about the benefits of membership. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Learn more about ASTA ->Resources  |  Conferences  |  Consumer Travel Information  |  Join ASTA

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
--Maya Angelou,
American author and poet

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