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ASTA Urges Travelport Dialogue on Agility ProgramDecember 19, 2011 By: George Dooley Travel Agent
The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) reports it has been in touch with Travelport’s top management to express member concern with Travelport’s announcement of its Agility program, which could increase costs to agency subscribers.
In a statement, ASTA said Travelport's Agility program has generated unanswered questions and concerns among travel agent users of Travelport GDS brands and which is being applied globally.
ASTA offered three main objections to the program which bundles services once provided free to agents. "Travelport subscribers believe they have a contracted right to features, now bundled as part of the Agility program, that are expressly 'fee-waived' in their current contract."
ASTA also cited costs. "Subscribers believe they should not have to pay for essential core features--such as profiles and queues--that have always been included as part of the core product and that define the essence of a Global Distribution System."
The timing of the announcement also came under fire, ASTA said. "Subscribers have also expressed concern over the timing of the announcement, as they have already concluded their 2012 budgets. Travelport’s Agility announcement, released in early December, to be implemented Jan. 1, 2012, has given subscribers little time to adjust their businesses."
ASTA said it has urged Travelport’s top management to open communication lines directly with ASTA members in a dialogue to resolve these issues. ASTA also asked Travelport, "to explain the asserted value of both the new products and the enhancements of existing features."
"Just as important, Travelport needs to provide its subscribers with the opportunity to voice any unanswered concerns directly with Travelport," ASTA said.
Worldspan, Apollo and Galileo subscribers could be impacted.