Legal action by ASTA appears to be unnecessary in the wake of Travelport's decision to rescind its Agility Program mandatory fees for current Travelport subscribers, ASTA said in a statement.
Travelport's 'rescission action', ASTA said, "respects agents’ rights in their existing contracts while giving them the opportunity, if interested, to get potential added value from new features contained in Agility." Travelport had targeted Jan.1 for the program to start.
"On Dec. 30, 2011, ASTA learned that Travelport had rescinded its previously announced plan to impose fees on Travelport subscribers for a program called Agility that included features already contracted for by subscribers with different fee structures than Agility. This is welcome news," ASTA said. Earlier ASTA questioned the costs and timing of Travelport's Agility program.
"ASTA had reached out to Travelport privately, on behalf of its subscriber members, to urge a solution that preserved the rights of members in their contracts and that facilitated direct communication between agents and Travelport. ASTA continued to communicate on behalf of its members through the holiday period," ASTA said.
"We know that agencies around the country were also communicating with Travelport about the serious issues raised by Agility and congratulate those who spoke up for their rights. Many of ASTA’s members wanted ASTA to initiate legal action against Travelport and, while ASTA was prepared to do that, it appears to be unnecessary as the rescission action respects agents’ rights in their existing contracts while giving them the opportunity, if interested, to get potential added value from new features contained in Agility," ASTA said.
"When those contracts expire, the question of whether and how Agility will apply will be a matter of commercial negotiation between Travelport and its subscribers," ASTA said.
"ASTA is pleased to avoid conflict with Travelport, which has been a trusted ally in numerous and important pro-travel agent government affairs activities in recent years. Since the fee-increase elements of Agility have been rescinded until existing contracts expire, ASTA will have no further comment on this subject," the association said.
ASTA CEO Tony Gonchar commented, “Even the closest of allies occasionally have serious disagreements, and this was certainly one but they move on because their long term interests are aligned for their mutual benefit. We believe that is the case here and trust that Travelport’s management sees it similarly.”