White Papers - Publications - ASTA

White Papers

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in ASTA White Papers as of the date of their publication, please be advised that some content contained therein may be outdated or otherwise inaccurate at the present time.

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2020
  • June 9, 2020 — Media Training Guide & Working with the Media Report Premium Members Only - Please Login
    A report on how travel agencies can work with the media and reporters to get favorable media coverage. Working with reporters can be painless with the proper preparation and understanding of the benefits the following report offers very practical advice that is easy to apply.

  • May 27, 2020 — Retail or Service Establishment Exemption Fact Sheet Premium Members Only - Please Login
    This resource explains how travel agencies may claim an exemption from the general requirement that employees be paid overtime for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Eligibility to claim this exemption was restored through ASTA’s advocacy efforts, which resulted in the elimination of the regulatory "blacklist" that had previously blocked the industry from utilizing it.

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2019
  • October 29, 2019 — California Assembly Bill 5 Compliance Fact Sheet Premium Members Only - Please Login
    This resource explains the state of the law on the engagement of independent contractors in California in 2020 and beyond in light of the enactment of Assembly Bill 5 and provides agency owners with guidance on satisfying the statutory criteria necessary to claim the “travel agent services” exemption secured through ASTA’s advocacy efforts.

  • August 12, 2019 — Engagement of Workers as Independent Contractors in California in Light of Assembly Bill 5 Premium Members Only - Please Login
    This FAQ document reviews common questions on the likely effect of the bill based on location of the agency and the IC, legal structures...

  • April 1, 2019 — Protecting Your Travel Business: Legal Issues Regarding the Use of Independent Advisors Premium Members Only - Please Login
    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 advisors with some of the pertinent state and federal laws. This report has been expanded to include analyses of state agency and contractor laws and a sample contractor agreement.

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2018
  • November 14, 2018 — Work Share Programs: Are They a Viable Alternative to Lay-Offs? Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    During an economic slowdown agency cash flow shrinks and credit is difficult to come by, so the owners of agencies often feel compelled to lay off employees in order to cut payroll expenses. However, members should be aware that they have a viable alternative to lay-offs.

  • September 28, 2018 — Agency Relationships and the Law Manual Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The concept of “agency” – the legal relationship that is created when one person is authorized to act on behalf of another – is an important one in the travel industry. Travel agents are routinely authorized to act on behalf of others, most notably, the traveling public. This manual uses real-life case studies to provide an understanding of what this means to the travel agent.

  • September 26, 2018 — FTC Endorsement Guides Fact Sheet Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The question of how the Federal Trade Commission’s Endorsement Guides impact travel advisors’ use of social media has been in the news lately, and the goal is this fact sheet is to provide background on the Guides, how they might be applied to our industry and some best practices for members to consider in this area.

  • August 7, 2018 — Host Agency Management: Protecting Your Business Premium Members Only - Please Login
    It is important that you periodically review your business practices to minimize your risk of fraud, theft and errors. The following are guidelines that may help you reduce your chance of dealing with a bad IC.

  • June 22, 2018 — Credit Card Surcharge Laws Premium Members Only - Please Login
    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.

  • June 7, 2018 — Net Neutrality Fact Sheet Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) repealed its 2015 “net neutrality” order requiring internet service providers (ISPs) to treat all online sites and services in an identical manner. This fact sheet gives an overview of the issue and its potential impacts on our industry.

  • April 14, 2018 — ASTA Guide to Selling Tours Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    This guide will assist with the many different types of tours offered in the marketplace, including traditional escorted, special interest, and customized (independent) tours.

  • April 4, 2018 — General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Fact Sheet Premium Members Only - Please Login
    This white discusses the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)which is a regulation of the European Union (EU) that sets down rules regulating the use, processing and movement of personal data to protect the rights of natural persons with respect to this data.

  • March 28, 2018 — California Seller of Travel Fact Sheet Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    California made several changes to its seller of travel law, including broadening the exemption for independent advisors and adding a new registration requirement. In an effort to help our members comply with the new law, which went into effect on January 1, 2017, ASTA has updated its California Seller of Travel Fact Sheet.

  • January 12, 2018 — GDS Surcharge White Paper & Carrier Matrix Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The purpose of this White Paper and Matrix is to assist agency owners, managers, operations team members and front line agents in quickly identifying which carriers have introduced a GDS surcharge, the surcharge dollar or Euro amount, how that surcharge is applied, the fee’s effective date, whether or not the carrier offers a “Private Channel Agreement” option, whether the carrier offers a direct web portal for agent bookings, and what code share partners may be considered as an alternative to avoid the GDS Surcharge, but book on the same carrier’s “metal” or aircraft.

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2017
  • October 24, 2017 — New Distribution Capability (NDC): Current Agency Implications Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    This ASTA “white paper” provides the reader with the latest assessment regarding its implications to agencies, 2017 developments to date, GDS and other technology implications, its adoption and a view of the ultimate endgame – Is NDC an evolution or a revolution?

  • October 10, 2017 — Ethics for Travel Advisors Manual Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    While all ASTA members already pledge themselves to conduct their businesses in accordance with the ASTA Code of Ethics, we created this manual as an in-depth study of critical ethical considerations facing their businesses and the travel industry as a whole in the twenty-first century.

  • October 4, 2017 — Employer Options to Respond to the Department of Labor’s Overtime Rule Premium Members Only - Please Login
    Under the U.S. Department of Labor’s new overtime rules, effective December 1, 2016, the salary threshold under which virtually all employees are guaranteed overtime pay will increase from...

  • July 11, 2017 — The Employee Classification Quandary Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    A member report on how travel advisors fall under the Federal Wage and Hour Laws, the report includes an overview of the federal minimum wage and overtime rules under the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act)

  • April 1, 2017 — Creating a Privacy Policy for Your Agency Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    This report explains the law on Web site privacy policies, offers privacy policy implementation tips and contains a sample privacy policy that 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.

  • February 15, 2017 — Travel Advisors Guide to Travel Insurance Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    Reviewing the 3 benefits of offering travel insurance - customer protection, agency protection and increased revenue - this guide summarizes the major types of travel insurance coverage as well as limitations, gives tips for choosing a travel insurance provider, and provides important cautions for advisors implementing or reviewing their travel insurance program.

  • February 5, 2017 — Travel Advisor’s Guide to Copyrights Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The Internet makes it extremely easy to copy and reuse. This guide explains the laws associated with reuse and how to legally obtain materials for your professional use.

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2016
  • November 25, 2016 — Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) Program Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The Department of Homeland Security announced that the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) program will soon become mandatory for certain travelers. This White Paper is intended to serve as a reference guide for travel advisors who wish to assist customers intending to travel to the United States.

  • June 7, 2016 — Calculating Your Risk Factor - Identity Theft Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    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.

  • April 7, 2016 — Selecting a Public Relations Agency Premium Members Only - Please Login
    If you've been wondering how to go about choosing a PR agency, this guide will walk you through a selection process. Topics include researching and interviewing prospective PR agencies, the information you will want to hear during an agency’s pitch, and the results you should expect from a campaign.

  • February 24, 2016 — Navigating the Tax Labyrinth Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    ASTA explains the nuances of the federal tax code as it relates to this category of deductible business expenses. It also provides members with general guidance on legitimate deductibility of the convention, fam trips and cruises expenses. Members can learn how to lower their tax bills by utilizing these tax benefits. But you are urged to consult your accountants or financial professionals in order to take full advantage of travel related tax allowances.

  • January 14, 2016 — ASTA's Guide to Debit Memos Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    ASTA's Guide to Debit Memos provides tips for preventing and responding to airline debit memos. Debit memo management is an important component of the travel agency business and is discussed in detail in this document, including recommended steps for responding to debit memos, sample response text for the most common types of debits, tips for preventing debit memos and frequently asked questions.

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2015
  • July 14, 2015 — Commerce Clause Analysis of State Seller of Travel Laws Premium Members Only - Please Login
    Over the past two decades, several states have responded to mounting claims of fraud perceived to be from within the industry and legislators in those states by enacting tough laws designed to provide certain protections to consumers. More often than not, Seller of Travel laws are duplicative and even overkill legislation since each state already has strict laws designed to combat fraud.

  • July 14, 2015 — State Regulation - Seller of Travel Legislation Study Premium Members Only - Please Login
    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.

  • July 13, 2015 — Lawmakers Turn Up the Heat on Misclassifying Companies Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    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.

  • May 24, 2015 — Travel Advisors' Guide to Secure Flight Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    ASTA has created a white paper called Travel Advisors' Guide to Secure Flight to provide members guidance on how to best comply with Secure Flight data collection requirements.

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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