In the wake of a recent announcement from Travelport that it would rescind Agility Program mandatory fees for current Travelport subscribers, ASTA has issued the following statement:
“On Dec. 30, 2011, ASTA learned that Travelport had rescinded its previously announced plan to impose fees on Travelport subscribers for a program called Agility that included features already contracted for by subscribers with different fee structures than Agility. This is welcome news.
“ASTA had reached out to Travelport privately, on behalf of its subscriber members, to urge a solution that preserved the rights of members in their contracts and that facilitated direct communication between agents and Travelport. ASTA continued to communicate on behalf of its members through the holiday period. We know that agencies around the country were also communicating with Travelport about the serious issues raised by Agility and congratulate those who spoke up for their rights. Many of ASTA’s members wanted ASTA to initiate legal action against Travelport and, while ASTA was prepared to do that, it appears to be unnecessary as the rescission action respects agents’ rights in their existing contracts while giving them the opportunity, if interested, to get potential added value from new features contained in Agility. When those contracts expire, the question of whether and how Agility will apply will be a matter of commercial negotiation between Travelport and its subscribers.
“ASTA is pleased to avoid conflict with Travelport, which has been a trusted ally in numerous and important pro-travel agent government affairs activities in recent years. Since the fee-increase elements of Agility have been rescinded until existing contracts expire, ASTA will have no further comment on this subject.”
Of the decision, ASTA CEO Tony Gonchar said: “Even the closest of allies occasionally have serious disagreements, and this was certainly one but they move on because their long term interests are aligned for their mutual benefit. We believe that is the case here and trust that Travelport’s management sees it similarly.”
The mission of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) is to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. ASTA seeks a retail travel marketplace that is profitable and growing and a rewarding field in which to work, invest and do business.