ASTA hosts GDS web seminar

The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) is hosting an educational Web-enabled seminar on May 4, 2006, where top industry leaders will be discussing the struggle taking place between the airlines and their GDS partners as they renegotiate their contracts. The Web seminar- The Global Distribution Systems (GDS) and Airline Content Wars: Agents & Consumers Caught in the Middle will take place at 2:00 pm, and the cost to register is $89 for members and $199 for non-members. The panel of speakers at the Web seminar will include: Paul Ruden, Esq., CTC, ASTA’s senior vice president of Industry and Legal Affairs; Kevin Mitchell, chairman of Business Travel Coalition; and Mark Pestronk, Esq., of The Travel Law Office. 

“Some airlines are endeavoring to structure a fundamentally new economic relationship among industry principals such as airlines, GDS’s, travel agencies and corporate buyers,” said Kevin Mitchell, chairman of Business Travel Coalition. “This could have irreversible, worldwide implications for corporate managed travel. No issue in a generation has been this important to the travel industry or corporate travel managers.”

“ASTA has planned the Web seminar to enlighten travel agents on the business and economic implications that could result from the airlines and GDS partners decisions,” said ASTA President and CEO Kathryn W. Sudeikis, CTC. “ASTA is striving to make sure all travel agents understand the reality that airlines are threatening to withhold inventory from one or more of the GDS partners.”

The Web seminar will give specific examples of what will happen if one or more of the GDS’s withhold or, in one case, if a GDS threatens to make some content “optional.”  The speakers will analyze these specific GDS developments, and how these changes may affect present and future travel agent business.

“We are going to be as practical as possible,” said Mark Pestronk, Esq., of The Travel Law Office. “We are going to cover how to get the best GDS deal possible in the face of the coming GDS upheavals.”


Registration and full details can be found online at

The mission of the American Society of Travel Agents and its affiliated organizations is to enhance the professionalism and profitability of members worldwide through effective representation in industry and government affairs, education and training, and by identifying and meeting the needs of the traveling public. The Society is the world’s largest and most influential travel trade association with more than 20,000 members in 140 countries.