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Agency Management

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in ASTA White Papers as of the date of their publication, please be advised that some content contained therein may be outdated or otherwise inaccurate at the present time. Accordingly, ASTA makes no representation regarding the timeliness of all of the information accessible here. Members having questions regarding the current state of a White Paper topic may wish to contact ASTA to obtain the most up-to-date information.

Sample Agency Service Fee Agreement — July 22, 2020
This template document is a resource for agencies and advisors who charge their clients travel planning or similar service fees but for whatever reason don't already have a written agreement in place to memorialize the parties' understanding.

Glossary of Terms — May 6, 2019
The Travel agent Arbiter Program is headquartered at 1952 Gallows Road, Suite 302, Vienna, VA 22182. The Arbiter's office has complete indexes of all its decisions. The cases summarized here are those that ASTA feels may be of particular value as guidance to members.

Instructions for Filing Travel Consumer Restitution Corporation (TCRC) Claim Form — May 2, 2019
This claim form is for the purpose of making a claim for payment from the Travel Consumer Restitution Fund. It is the form you need in order to request payment from the restitution fund for transportation or travel services that you as a passenger paid for but did not receive. In order to file a claim, the refund due to you from the travel seller against whom your claim is made must be $50 or greater.

Junk Faxes — April 15, 2019
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 contained rules that impact advisors' ability to send facsimiles (fax messages) to their customers. The rules also impacted the way in which suppliers solicit travel agency business.

IATA Baggage Rules — April 11, 2019
IATA Resolution 302: What Members Need to Know About IATA’s Baggage Rule

Document Retention — April 11, 2019
How long should travel advisors keep files in the office? Guidelines for IRS, state and ARC are outlined, along with where to storage the documents.

Business Insurance and Disaster Protection — April 5, 2019
Fortunately, relatively few travel advisors experience a fire, flood or other natural disaster in their office. For the few that do fall victim to such unfortunate occurrences, the results can be devastating. Benefit from some valuable tips on how you can prepare for these situations.

Payment Collection Programs Report — April 5, 2019
This Premium Member report provides information on PayPal and its potential use for travel advisors. Provided in the report is a detailed comparison of three payment options: ARC TASF, a typical merchant program and PayPal.

Protecting Your Travel Business: Legal Issues Regarding the Use of Independent Advisors — November 20, 2018
This analysis provides guidelines for determining whether the government will view a travel-agency worker as an independent contractor or as an employee. It will also familiarize agents with some of the pertinent state and federal laws. Premium members receive expanded and analyses of state agency and contractor laws and a sample contractor agreement.

Template Independent Contractor Agreement — November 10, 2017
A template contract for use when an agency engages an independent contractor to sell travel.

Hotel Free WiFi Policies — March 16, 2015
To help you understand the nuances of these offers, ASTA has created an analytical chart of each hotel company’s free wifi/Internet offer. This chart also breaks out the brands within each hotel company’s portfolio that are and are not impacted by the new policies.

International Airlines Travel agent Network (IATAN) — September 24, 2014
If you are applying as a full-service travel agency, you must be "freely accessible" to the public. For example, you can be located on the premises of a corporate client or government base, as long as the public has free access to your offices. There must be a sign or other public notice indicating that your agency is located on the premises.

Supplier Bankruptcy Resources — October 8, 2012
ASTA's supplier bankruptcy resources include the ASTA Travel Advisors' Guide to Airline Bankruptcies, information specific to Cruise Line Defaults, and a Supplier Bankruptcy Updates page with the latest information on specific suppliers.

Your Website is NOT About You — May 11, 2011
In this video, designer, writer, and web strategist Barry Harrison looks at what happens after potential customers arrive at your website.

Best Western - the World's Largest Hotel Chain — April 27, 2011
Best Western has launched a new marketing strategy as part of the brand's long-term commitment to enhance its image, ensure brand relevance and drive superior revenue to its hotels.

CCRA – how to book hotels wisely AND make more money worldwide! — March 31, 2011
How to book hotels through CCRA

Power of Data: Using ASTA’s Research Resources to Meet Your Needs — December 16, 2010
This video talks about data available on ASTA’s website that you can use today for marketing, agency information, and business planning.

Increasing Your Business. Discover Why Puerto Rico Does it Better! — October 26, 2010
Review the impressive contrast of activities and diversity of experiences that Puerto Rico has to offer. You will get a taste of all the materials available to better sell Puerto Rico to your clients. This will be a new step in developing your knowledge to sell this exciting destination for profit!

Connecting with the Travel Industry — October 26, 2010
Did you know that one of the best ways to grow in your career development is to be involved your professional trade association?

Making a Living in the Travel Industry — October 15, 2010
There are lots of business models to choose from, and some are more profitable than others. Which specialties, clients, and business segments provide the best profit potential for you?

How to get business from — August 30, 2010
Did you know that has more than 100 tools to help you boost your business and make a profit? You have access to unlimited FREE consumer leads, etc.

Hardware, Cloud Computing, and Apps...Oh My! — July 16, 2010
Technology is constantly changing - and if you're not up on current trends, you're behind the curve. A hour video to learn a little more about technology and how agents are using it.

Federal and State Lawmakers Turn Up the Heat on Misclassifying Companies — July 13, 2010
In recent months, federal and state lawmakers have stepped up efforts to significantly raise the stakes on businesses that misclassify their workers as independent advisors. The ramped-up pressure on employers comes in the form of newly enacted legislation or stern proposals aimed at non-compliant businesses.

Fraud Prevention Strategies: Protecting Your Business — June 24, 2010
Fraudulent activities show no signs of slowing. Fraudsters continue to approach agents with new and creative situations that will test your firm’s vulnerability.

Making Cruising Work for You — June 16, 2010
Cruising is often seen as the "holy grail" of travel sales. For years, industry consultants, cruise line executives, and CLIA have promoted cruise sales as the most profitable and efficient product for retailers to focus on. More and more agency owners have said they're moving away from cruise sales to focus on other products. Why is that?

Calculating Your Risk Factor - Identity Theft — June 7, 2010
What Travel Agencies need to know about the Red Flags Rule. This document covers information on what you need to have in place ... regarding identity theft.

Webinar - What the Health Care Reform Bill Means for You — May 25, 2010
President Obama signed into law his top domestic priority: a sweeping overhaul of the nation's health care system. The new law will ultimately affect every American in some way, but some of its features will take years to implement. Colin Tooze, ASTA's Vice President of Government Affairs, looks at how this important new law will affect you and your travel agency now and over the coming several years.

The In's and Out's of Host Agencies — May 10, 2010
Out on your own vs. using a host agency - which is best for you? A host agency allows agents to start their own business with relatively limited investment and risk, putting agents in the position to build their own travel brand and gather their own clients.

Premium Business Summit 2011 - Post Summit — April 7, 2010

Premium Business Summit 2010 - Post Summit — April 7, 2010
Over 85 Premium Company executives met for "an outstanding 18 hours in San Antonio". Topics included Corporate & Leisure Travel of the Future; Airline Industry of Today and Tomorrow; Managing Airline Unbundling & Direct Connect and agents as Information Brokers - The Super PNR. See Summit presentations.

American Airlines “Direct Connect” – Back To The Past — February 26, 2010
Airlines has called its "Direct Connect" merchandising strategy questions from corporate travel managers

Passports — December 22, 2009
U.S. citizens will be required to have a valid passport for exiting and reentering the United States as of Jan. 23, 2007 for all air travel.

Google Granny on Google Docs — November 12, 2009
An eye opening introduction to Google Docs, a powerful, FREE group of applications available through Google, presented by Carol Fullmer, AKA Google Granny

Webinar - Bulletproofing Your Business — November 5, 2009
Daniel R. Zim, Esq., ASTA’s assistant general counsel, will discuss the pitfalls that small business owners can run into and the things you can do to reduce your agency’s exposure to lawsuits.

Premium Member Video - Preventing and Coping with Fraud By Your Independent Sales Contractors — August 13, 2009
Available to Premium Members Only - Video on IC fraud. Learn how to prevent fraud by screening applicants, reviewing transactions, and imposing strict sales limitations and procedures on contractors without running afoul of IRS rules. Also covers how to prevent liability for defamation when reporting fraudulent behavior to other agencies.

State Regulation - Seller of Travel Legislation Study — July 14, 2009
Currently, seventeen states including the District of Columbia impose some type of regulation on travel sellers and tour operators. Due to the perceived rampart abuse of consumers, states began enacting stern measures designed to combat fraudulent business practices within the industry. California, Florida, Hawai'i and Washington generally have the most restrictive seller of travel regimes, while the laws in states like Massachusetts and Pennsylvania are much more limited in scope.

Webinar - Changing Your Future By Upgrading Your Business Model? — May 22, 2009
Agencies need to develop and implement a progressive fees strategy. This presentation will address critical issues related to upgrading your business model to successfully use fees.

Calculating the Cost of Taking on New Corporate Business — February 6, 2009
No travel advisor should offer a corporate client a rebate or management fee program unless the advisor knows that his resulting income will be profitable. If the cost to the agent of every ticket issued is higher than the commission received, there is simply no way to, as the old saying goes, "make it up on volume". Profitable revenue sharing demands that the advisor know, with substantial accuracy, all costs associated with his agency.

Business Plans — February 6, 2009
A proper business plan encourages regular re-evaluation of the business. Such a plan will contain monthly or quarterly projections of income and expenses for a year or two of operations. The plan can then be used as a check against actual results to determine whether and how the business is progressing. This is only possible, of course, if monthly or quarterly financial statements are produced in sufficient detail to match the detail in the business plan.

Rebating Airfare — February 6, 2009
The rebating of domestic air fares became legal in 1981. Advisors, however, must follow the policies of their principals, the airlines, when selling their tickets. Airlines are the "policemen" of their agents and no actions can be taken by the government, ARC, IATA, ASTA, or any other association against companies that are engaged in the lawful practice of rebating on domestic tickets.

Ticket Security Rules — February 6, 2009
The Airlines Reporting Corporation's (ARC) recommended security practices for agencies approved prior to March 31, 1996, with one exception, are now mandatory for all advisors. These revised rules include acceptable ticket printer locations, printer locking requirements and safe requirements.

Understanding and Managing Service Fees — February 6, 2009
Since the majority of airline commissions were eliminated several years ago, travel agencies have had to adjust their business plans in order to recoup the loss of revenue.

Travel Insurance: War, Terrorism, and Itinerary Changes — February 6, 2009
Trip cancellation coverage is generally considered to be a "named peril" type policy, meaning that only those perils that are named in the policy are covered.

Travel Advisors and Frequent Flyer Programs — February 6, 2009
Carriers developed frequent flyer programs in the 1980s as a customer loyalty tool. Over the years, frequent flyer programs have been the subject of much scrutiny and ongoing debate by industry executives, economists, and legislators.

Home-Based Advisor Guide: Must-Have Marketing Tools and Tactics — October 3, 2008
This guide is perfect for every home-based travel advisor, whether you’re just starting out or want to find new and improved ways to do business. Take the first step by learning about the essential marketing strategies and technology tools that will increase your productivity and attract more consumers.

PhoCusWright’s Travel Agency Distribution Landscape: 2006-2009 — April 9, 2008
The Travel Agency Distribution Landscape: 2006-2009 dispels the myth that travel agents are dinosaurs, destined for extinction. At $110 billion in total travel sales, the agency channel is significant—but it’s also complex. This new report provides an essential guide to understanding this important and fast-changing distribution channel.

Green Office - Easy and Effective Tips for a “Greener” Workplace — February 1, 2008
More and more consumers and businesses are joining the cause for a stronger, greener economy. With this exclusive online guide, discover several pain-free habits that will significantly help your office become more energy efficient.

Understanding Airline Strikes — July 24, 2007
Your guide to understanding strikes, tips for consumers and what to expect after a strike has been called.

What If Your Client Has Already Purchased the Travel Offer? — July 24, 2007
The emphasis of this section has been on avoiding travel scams, but what about the client who has already given out a credit card number?

Bargain Vacations: Advice for You to Provide Your Clients — July 24, 2007
Helping your clients evaluating bargain travel offers, with tips you can reprint and use in your agency.

How Travel Scams Work — July 24, 2007
Travel scams are characterized by the offering company's unwillingness to disclose all relevant details about their offer prior to payment by the consumer.

Super Bowl and College Bowl Game Packages — July 23, 2007
ASTA’s Consumer Affairs Department routinely get calls concerning offers for college bowl games and Super Bowl packages.

Cuba Travel Restricted; US Embargo Still in Place — July 23, 2007
The economic embargo that prohibits tourist or business travel by U.S. citizens, including from or through a third country such as Mexico or Canada, is still in place.

DOT Guide to Public Charter Flights for Consumers — July 12, 2007
Over the past few years, charter rules have been relaxed to make lower cost air transportation available to more people. Public charters can be purchased from a tour operator, travel agent or sometimes directly from the airline.

Credit Card Surcharge Laws — July 9, 2007
Focusing on the laws of eleven states that ban credit card surcharges in specific transactions, this report examines how those laws affect travel agencies and airlines. The report also includes an analysis on how well travel agencies are protected by these laws should the airlines decide to pass credit card expenses onto travel agencies.

ASTA/Sloan Foundation Study — July 9, 2007
Conducted by the University of South Carolina's Travel & Tourism Industry Center, the ASTA/Sloan Foundation study gives a detailed look at the key strengths of highly successful American travel agencies. This in-depth study provides insight into what key factors make a travel agency successful, including: relationship building, customer service and networking.

Creating a Privacy Policy for Your Agency — June 20, 2007
This report explains the law on Web site privacy policies, offers privacy policy implementation tips and contains a sample privacy policy that Premium Members can use to craft their own privacy policy. It also addresses the issue of managing privacy within the office by protecting employee records and assuring that office equipment is used properly.

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in ASTA White Papers as of the date of their publication, please be advised that some content contained therein may be outdated or otherwise inaccurate at the present time. Accordingly, ASTA makes no representation regarding the timeliness of all of the information accessible here. Members having questions regarding the current state of a White Paper topic may wish to contact ASTA to obtain the most up-to-date information.


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