During an ASTA-hosted, Web-enabled seminar May 4, industry leaders will discuss the struggle that is taking place between airlines and GDSs as they renegotiate contracts. "The Global Distribution Systems (GDS) and Airline Content Wars: Agents & Consumers Caught in the Middle" will take place at 2 p.m., and registration will cost $89 for members and $199 for nonmembers. Speakers include Paul Ruden, ASTA's senior vice president of industry and legal affairs; Kevin Mitchell, chairman of the Business Travel Coalition; and Mark Pestronk of The Travel Law Office. "Some airlines are endeavoring to structure a fundamentally new economic relationship among industry principals such as airlines, GDSs, travel agencies and corporate buyers," said Kevin Mitchell, chairman of Business Travel Coalition. "No issue in a generation has been this important to the travel industry or corporate travel managers." ASTA President and CEO Kathryn W. Sudeikis said, "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." The Web seminar will give specific examples of what would happen if one or more of the GDSs withhold content, or if a GDS makes some content "optional." The speakers will analyze specific GDS developments and how changes could affect present and future travel agent business. Mark Pestronk said, "We are going to cover how to get the best GDS deal possible in the face of the coming GDS upheavals." Visit [www.astanet.com/education/index.asp] to register.
by Peggy Cope