Booking Fees Spark ASTA's Anger

The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) lashed out against American Airlines' decision to impose a $3.50 per segment booking fee, calling the decision "unconscionable." In a harshly worded statement to the media, ASTA CEO Kathy Sudeikis said, "This policy of shifting still more costs off of American's financial statements and on to the backs of travel agents and their customers is unconscionable. American is trying to use its market power to impose its costs on other market players, as a condition to providing what travel agents clearly require to do business efficiently." American Airlines announced earlier this week that it would impose the per segment booking fee on agents using certain GDSs, like Sabre, Amadeus, Galileo/Apollo and select Worldspan products. Agents utilizing G2 Switchworks and Farelogix will be exempt from the fees. "American's announcement tells every travel agency in America: if you want to sell us, run your business the way we tell you or you'll be forced to pay us for the privilege of booking our services," said Sudeikis.

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