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September 6, 2012News for travel agents

  Business and Industry Watch 
  • American Airlines lawsuit alleges conspiracy by GDSs, travel agencies
    Documents filed by American Airlines in U.S. District Court accuse travel firms Sabre Holdings and Expedia as well as industry groups ASTA and the Business Travel Coalition as being in a conspiracy to defeat American's implementation of direct-connect booking technology. The airline's complaint also alleges involvement by "numerous" travel agents, who "recognized that their communications crossed the line of legitimate competition on the merits." Sabre has responded to the allegations, saying: "American makes a number of unsupported allegations which Sabre denies and maintains that it has not violated any laws." (9/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Disney Cruise Line offers new sailings from Galveston, Texas
    Disney Cruise Line has unveiled new itineraries from Galveston, Texas, aboard the Disney Magic. The four- and eight-day voyages are scheduled to begin Feb. 13. The Disney Magic is also scheduled for a series of six-night cruises to the western Caribbean beginning this month. Travel Weekly (9/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
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  Trends and Technology 
  • Move over, CNN: Clear Channel is arriving at airports
    In a move to compete with CNN, Clear Channel Outdoor has signed 100 deals for its "ClearVision," to be shown in airports -- a market largely dominated by CNN. The agreements will enable travelers to view content from networks such as NBC, CBS and Fox. Next year, Clear Channel hopes to roll out a service to let travelers stream the content on their personal mobile devices. Reuters (9/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Luxury hotels aim to please health-conscious travelers
    Westin Hotels and Resorts is just one luxury-hotel brand that is making guest wellness a priority, this feature says. The WestinWorkout program offers customized workouts at the fitness center, group runs and equipment and DVDs delivered to guest rooms. InterContinental Hotels Group has launched its Even brand, which is aimed at travelers who focus on wellness and offers healthy meals, in-room workouts and more. (9/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Column: Travelers need more functionality from mobile services
    Travel companies need to introduce more mobile-specific deals and services to cater to the needs of an increasingly mobile-oriented consumer market, Melanie Nayer writes. "It's not just about having a working mobile site anymore with a booking engine and hotel information. Today's mobile traveler wants immediate information, deals and discounts that are specific to where they are, where they're going and that will keep them coming back," Nayer writes. 4Hoteliers (9/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Destination of the Week 
  • Haunted places take over the West
    Scary attractions are popping up around the West this fall. From haunted houses to Halloween-inspired theme parks, a variety of attractions are sure to be a scream. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  Home-Based Agent Update 
  • Experts: Accessible travel requires creativity, some diligence
    Agents can help provide a memorable travel experience for disabled clients through creativity, extra diligence and research, experts say. Cruises are a good choice for accessible travel because they offer several destinations without the need to unpack bags repeatedly, they say. "The rule of thumb is, the newer the vessel, the more accessible it is," said Andrew Garnett, president and CEO of the Special Needs Group. Travel Weekly (9/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Consumer Travel News 
  Regulatory and Legislative 
  • FAA will probe science behind electronics interruptions
    The Federal Aviation Administration will form a panel to explore the notion that personal electronic devices can interfere with a plane's communication systems during takeoffs and landings. Some issues on the table include how to make planes resistant to interference and adding monitoring systems that would detect problems. Travel Weekly (9/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Best Practices 
  • Column: Agents should seize on consumers' pent-up travel demands
    Agents have the opportunity to capitalize on the travel dreams that consumers have been reigning in during the economic downturn, Richard Earls writes. Travel agents need to be visible now more than ever to guide clients toward the best deals. "Smart travel consultants should be working right now to develop a PR campaign in their local communities. They should be assisting consumers to recognize what an amazing opportunity they have right now to travel," Earls writes. Travel Research Online (9/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Small-Business Strategies 
  • How to learn from your competitors' social media pages
    Social media isn't just useful for interacting with clients; it can also allow you to learn from your competitors, Amie Marse of Content Equals Money writes. Scope out their profiles to determine how often they are posting and who their target audience seems to be, she advises. Also, figure out what kind of content they are putting out. Small Business Trends (9/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Featured Content 

  ASTA Spotlight 
  • ASTA-LA to officially open Friday
    ASTA's Travel Retailing & Destination Expo will deliver a fresh approach to traditional travel trade shows. Friday morning will kick off with the first of two thought leader industry sessions. Following these sessions will be a series of high-level education seminars that provide agents with skills to control expenses, balance the bottom line and fuel new business opportunities. In the afternoon, top travel professionals will network on the trade show floor. The evening will conclude with a fabulous party on the rooftop of ICON LA. Registrations will be taken onsite. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Top 20 member benefits countdown
    Our diverse travel agent members demand a broad range of tools to be successful. As THE professional trade association for travel agents, we are here to support you and are dedicated to the business of selling travel. Starting tomorrow, we're counting down ASTA's top 20 membership benefits for travel agents. Follow the list on SmartBrief, Facebook and Twitter to make sure you are taking advantage of these great member benefits. If you are not an ASTA member, contact Pam Bonin, Director, Market Development at for additional information or join online. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Learn more about ASTA ->Resources  |  Conferences  |  Consumer Travel Information  |  Join ASTA

One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done."
--Marie Curie,
Polish-French physicist and chemist

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