ASTA Launches Online Business Executive Series

Airline direct connect policies and agency compliance with DOT pricing rules will be key topics of ASTA's  2011 Travel Agency Legal Symposium, Aug. 11 at 2 p.m. ET. ASTA's online conference is designed  for travel professionals interested in furthering their understanding of current and pending regulatory and legal conditions with an eye to both protecting and enhancing their businesses.

This online conference - including the views of top industry attorneys -marks the launch of ASTA’s Business Executive Series. ASTA notes the series will offer a succession of thought-provoking and informative online programs to assist today’s travel professional in dealing with the greatest challenges facing the industry.


“ASTA will provide travel professionals with the opportunity to obtain valuable information from leading industry, government and legal experts regarding a variety of complex issues affecting their business today,” said ASTA President and Chair Chris Russo. “ASTA continues to be a thought leader within the industry and provide its members with the foremost in education, training and analytical business and legal information.”


The two-hour event will be broken out into three stand-alone sessions. The first one, entitled “Prepare Your Business to Meet Your Statutory Obligations with DOT’s New Rules,” will focus on travel agents’ current and pending regulatory obligations. Presented by Paul Ruden, Esquire, ASTA’s senior vice president of Legal & Industry Affairs, and Blane A. Workie, Esq., deputy assistant general counsel for Aviation Enforcement and Proceeding for the Department of Transportation (DOT), this session will review the DOT’s code share disclosure and price advertising rules, along with upcoming baggage fee disclosure rules set to begin Aug. 23.


Respected travel industry attorney Mark Pestronk, Esq.  and ASTA Senior Vice President of Legal & Industry Affairs Paul Ruden will present the second session, “Travel Agency Legal Check-Up,” a preventative review of the critical things agents can do to protect their business. This session will examine the things travel agents can do to limit their liability when a disaster strikes, a supplier goes bankrupt or something goes wrong on a cruise or tour, as well as look at the steps that can be taken to minimize risk when working with independent contractors.


The third session, presented by Mark Pestronk, Esq. and entitled "Direct Connect or Misconnect," will review the current Global Distribution System (GDS) environment, with a focus on how the airline-GDS contract battles and Direct Connect may impact agents’ financial model, as well as the way they do business. Participants will learn about the airlines’ GDS bypass initiatives and what they might mean to the travel agent business and receive tips on how to get the best GDS deal in the current environment.


Each session will be 25 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of Q & A. The $349 registration fee is waived for ASTA Travel Agency members (limit one per ASTA member, first come, first served). Registration includes access to one, two or all three sessions. ASTA Allied members and non-members pay $349. Space is limited.

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