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Notice of Appeal Filed in ARC Fee Increase Case

Notice of Appeal Filed in ARC Fee Increase Case ( ASTA, Carlson Travel Network and Uniglobe Travel USA Join Fight

Earlier today, ASTA, along with Carlson Travel Network Associates, Inc. and UNIGLOBE Travel USA LLC, all members of the Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) Joint Advisory Board–Agent Reporting Agreement (JAB-ARA), filed a Notice of Appeal with the Independent Arbitration Panel (IAP) in response to last week’s decision by the ARC Board of Directors to increase ARC annual administrative fees by as much as 172 percent.

“From the start, ASTA has made it clear that we did not want to seek legal action against ARC. In fact, we extended several requests to sit down and talk about ways we might come to an agreement and all were dismissed out of hand. Given last week’s vote to move ahead with the proposed fee increase, we are left with no choice but to appeal an egregious move to shift airline costs onto the backs of travel agents,” said Cheryl Hudak, CTC, ASTA president and CEO.

In its filing, the agency representatives requested that the IAP find that the fee increases adopted by ARC are not justified by the level of costs nor do they reflect a fair allocation of costs between travel agencies and ARC and that the fees should be rescinded retroactive to Dec. 31, 2007. The governing legal standards in cases of this kind provide that “all future fees will be subject to review by the IAP, taking into consideration the level of costs and a fair allocation of costs between carriers and agents.”

ARC’s Board decided to move forward with the proposed fee increase despite hearing from ASTA’s Senior Vice President for Legal and Industry Affairs, Paul Ruden, who was granted the rare chance to address ARC’s Board. ASTA members can learn more about ARC’s fee plan at under Financial Tools. There, members will also find an easy to use tool that will calculate the impact of ARC’s proposed changes from 2008-2011.

The mission of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) is to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. ASTA seeks a retail travel marketplace that is profitable and growing and a rewarding field in which to work, invest and do business.

Contact: Kristina Rundquist/Sarah Wilhite 703-739-8710

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