Saturday, June 12, 2010

Consumer Travel News travel needs end here
AMR re-evaluates whether to spin off American Eagle
AMR, the parent company of American Airlines, is adding new flights for American Eagle and adding first-class cabins to the regional carrier's largest planes. The company also is considering whether to sell American Eagle. AMR previously put American Eagle up for sale in late 2007, then decided against the move in July 2008. Bloomberg (6/10)
Fans are eager to try Universal's Wizarding World of Harry Potter
J.K. Rowling published the final installment of the Harry Potter series a few years ago, and from a recent sneak peek at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Universal Orlando Resort, it has been a long wait for some fans. The attraction features everything from butterbeer to the Hogswarts Express, but a ride called Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey might be the biggest muggle magnet. The New York Times (free registration) (6/7)
Spirit Airlines prepares for possible pilots' strike
Spirit Airlines has stopped selling tickets for flights this weekend, according to a check by The Associated Press, and has canceled other flights as a deadline approaches for a pilots' strike. The airline's pilots are scheduled to start striking early Saturday morning if a deal is not reached. Misty Pinson, a representative of Spirit, said the airline is offering travel alternatives to passengers who would be affected by the strike. USA TODAY/The Associated Press (6/10)
Delta aims to increase appeal to business travelers
Delta Air Lines is enhancing its regional jets by adding first-class seats. "As business travel returns, it's important for airlines to feel they have a quality product for that business traffic," said Hunter Keay, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus. "Airlines are really competing heavily for that high-yield traffic." Bloomberg (6/10)
Other News
ARC reports a 25% surge in travel-agency sales in May (6/10)
Manhattan hotel rates are expected to rise this year (6/10)
Why Should Anyone Be Led by You?
This compelling Harvard Business Review article shares its authors' findings of four unexpected qualities of great leaders: They 1) reveal weaknesses, 2) rely heavily on intuition, 3) manage with "tough empathy," and 4) capitalize on their differences. Order this article in print or PDF.

Trends and Technology

Column: Full-body scanners draw few written complaints
The Transportation Security Administration has received 600 comments from the estimated about 4 million passengers who have used the 80 full-body scanners in place at U.S. airports. Scott McCartney surveys the customer comments, picking out trends such as health concerns, privacy objections and lack of professionalism among TSA staff. The Wall Street Journal (6/9)
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Consumer Travel News
Amazing scenery draws visitors to Banff each summer
Canada features numerous beautiful destinations, including Banff, Alberta, and its surrounding national park. The area features rocky peaks, alpine meadows, cool turquoise lakes and awe-inspiring waterfalls. Plus, visitors can partake in a wide variety of outdoor activities such as canoeing, hiking, golfing, wildlife watching and soaking in hot springs. TravelAge West (6/6)
Regulatory and Legislative
Agents raise concerns about DOT's proposed airline rules
The Department of Transportation has proposed new rules that require airlines, global-distribution systems and travel agencies to help provide protections for air travelers. The rules pertain to how airfares are advertised and quoted to travelers. Travel agents already follow many of the proposed rules, but insiders are raising concerns about some of the details. For example, Susan Tanzman, head of Martin's Travel and Tours in Los Angeles, raised concerns about rules that would require full disclosure of luggage fees. She said tracking each ticket's baggage-fee policies would amount to an unreasonable burden for agents. (6/10)
Arizona's travel industry warns counterparts to watch proposals
The travel industry in Arizona is feeling the effects of the state's new immigration law, which is expected to cost tens of millions of dollars in meetings and conventions business. At a conference in California, travel-industry insiders warned their counterparts to keep a close eye on legislative proposals to avoid being blindsided. Travel Weekly (6/10)
DOT to investigate airline pricing
The Department of Transportation is looking into pricing policies in the airline industry. Faced with competition from startups, airlines have had to implement often confusing "a la carte" options, such as paying to check an extra bag, to stay afloat. DOT's proposed solutions include requiring airlines to list mandatory fees as part of the full cost of a ticket and prohibiting companies from advertising "one-way" prices if tickets must be bought round-trip. (6/9)
Best Practices
7 marketing tips to increase sales
Matt Heinz of Blogging Innovation condenses his marketing advice in seven simple concepts. Among the tips that made the list: Focus on results, listen to the customer and tell stories that illustrate a product's value instead of making a sales pitch. (6/8)
Featured Content

5 Good Reasons to Buy an iPad for Your Business Dan Frommer
Get Others to Sell for You with Affiliate Marketing Thursday Bram
5 Ways to Conquer the Culture of Reaction Scott Belsky
National Small Business Week - It Could be So Much More Anita Campbell
5 Ways to Get Your Site Penalized by Google John Jantsch

ASTA Spotlight
ASTA releases white paper on Red Flags Rule for preventing ID theft
In 2011, the Federal Trade Commission will begin enforcing a rule requiring "creditors" to take steps to combat identity theft in connection with "covered" deferred payment accounts. Known as the Red Flags Rule, the regulations require certain affected businesses to adopt vigilant internal procedures directed at identity theft prevention. Although most travel agencies do not usually offer or extend credit, those that do might need to conform with these new measures. For further details on the FTC's new requirements for preventing identity theft, see ASTA's newly released white paper entitled Calculating Your Risk Factor -- Identity Theft.
ASTA is on YouTube
Have you seen ASTA's new YouTube Channel? Check it out for a monthly update from headquarters and other tutorials to help you run your business and stay in touch with ASTA. If you subscribe to the channel, you will get automatic updates when new videos are added so you don't miss a beat.

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