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in ASTA White Papers as of the date of their publication, please be advised that some content contained therein may be outdated or otherwise inaccurate at the present time.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

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

Gain a Marketing Advantage Through Promoting Sustainable Travel — April 6, 2017
The marketing advantage of the sustainable travel niche is the growing desire of consumers to “do well” while vacationing and traveling.

The Value of Travel Agents — April 6, 2017
Who uses travel agents, who wants to use travel agents and how to market to both. ASTA’s Value of Travel Agents study surveyed over 8,000 U.S. Travelers and found out who uses travel agents and who does not. But more importantly it found that non-users were interested in using a travel agent.

Regulatory Compliance for Travel Agency Professionals — April 6, 2017
Travel agencies of various sizes have been assessed civil penalties ranging from $20,000 to $125,000, and on day two of 2014 DOT levied a $95,000 fine on a single agency. This video will delve deeply into the nuances and key compliance issues of the principal federal consumer protection rules and policies.

State Work Share Programs: Are They a Viable Alternative to Lay-Offs? — November 14, 2016
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.

Helpful Resources — June 22, 2016

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.

Members' Guide to American Airlines’ 2014 Addendum to Agency Agreements — June 11, 2014
ASTA has completed its review of the recently issued American Airlines (AA) Addendum to the ARC Agent Reporting Agreement and IATA Passenger Sales Agency Agreement. To complete this review, ASTA reached out to American Airlines with a list of questions after the new Addendum was released to clarify some issues so we may avoid conflict in the future.

Travel Agent’s Guide to Copyrights — February 5, 2013
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.

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

Written Commission Compensation Agreements for California Agent Employees — August 16, 2012
By January 1, 2013, all businesses that pay their California employees by commission must devise written agreements that spell out the method by which commissions will be computed and paid.

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.

ASTA letter to President Obama on Cuba Travel — September 24, 2010
A letter to President Obama asking to remove barriers to Cuba travel.

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 contractors. 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.

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

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.

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.

Seller of Travel Fact Sheet for Massachusettes — July 14, 2009
Seller of Travel Act for Massachusettes

Seller of Travel Fact Sheet for Louisiana — July 14, 2009
Seller of Travel Act for Louisiana

Seller of Travel Fact Sheet for Illinois — July 14, 2009
Seller of Travel Act for Illinois

Seller of Travel Fact Sheet for California — July 14, 2009
Seller of Travel Act for California

Seller of Travel Fact Sheet for Washington D.C. — July 14, 2009
Seller of Travel Act for Washington D.C.

Seller of Travel Fact Sheet for Hawaii — July 14, 2009
Seller of Travel Act for Hawaii

Seller of Travel Fact Sheet for Pennsylvania — July 14, 2009
Seller of Travel Fact Sheet for Pennsylvania

Seller of Travel Fact Sheet for New York City — July 14, 2009
Seller of Travel Act for New York City

Seller of Travel Fact Sheet for Washington — July 14, 2009
Seller of Travel Act for Washington

Seller of Travel Fact Sheet for Virginia — July 14, 2009
Seller of Travel Act for Virginia

Seller of Travel Fact Sheet for Missouri — July 14, 2009
Seller of Travel Act for Missouri

Seller of Travel Fact Sheet for Minnesota — July 14, 2009
Seller of Travel Act for Minnesota

Seller of Travel Fact Sheet for New York — July 14, 2009
Seller of Travel Act for New York

Seller of Travel Fact Sheet for Nevada — July 14, 2009
Seller of Travel Act for Nevada

Seller of Travel Fact Sheet for Delaware — July 14, 2009
Seller of Travel Act for Delaware

Seller of Travel Fact Sheet for Iowa — July 14, 2009
Seller of Travel Act for Iowa

Credit Card Acceptance Procedures — February 6, 2009
Failure by agents to (i) follow the 3-step process outlined below, and (ii) respond to carriers' requests for supporting documentation within the timeframe referenced above, will result in agents being held financially liable for disputed transactions.

Avoiding Legal Pitfalls in Overseas Wedding Travel — September 17, 2008
As a niche specialty, wedding travel has blossomed into an important source of travel agency revenue. Fiancées frequently seek out professional travel consultants to advise and arrange the most exquisite and idyllic destination for their dream-come-true ceremony. Often this involves some exotic foreign country with marriage laws, traditions and customs that differ greatly from our own.

ASTA Successful in Overturning Unconstitutional Florida Restrictions on Selling Travel — September 15, 2008
ASTA defended through legal action the right of travel agents to sell trips to selected destinations as well as the freedom of citizens to travel to those places.

ASTA Statement of Rights of Travel Agents to Announce Booking Practices — July 28, 2008
If a travel agency decides to stop selling a particular supplier, the agency, when acting unilaterally without agreement with competitors, may make a public announcement of its current booking practice whenever the announcement is reasonably designed to communicate with actual or potential customers and\or actual or potential suppliers of the agency.

Ethical (and Legal) Advertising — July 24, 2007
Everyone has read those enticing advertisements for the vacation of a lifetime. The big, bold print promises more than you could ever dream about – "For only $10.00 a day, you can lay on a Caribbean beach!" However, at the bottom of the page, in a type size that you need a magnifying glass to read, the fine print states that air fare is not included, the room does not have an ocean view, and you must depart on a Tuesday afternoon with a return on Friday morning – and that is if you can get beyond the large number of blackout days. The problem is that the offer is too limited. Probably 99.9 percent of the general population do not qualify for the offer.

Decisions of the Travel Agent Arbiter — July 12, 2007
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.

Other ARC General Qualifications and Classifications — July 12, 2007
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.

Legal Issues Involved in the Operation of a Web Site — July 12, 2007
While the Internet may seem like a place without rules and boundaries, that is not the case; the law that applies offline also applies online. This section is intended as an introduction to some of the legal issues that have arisen online and how the legal system is currently dealing with those issues. Online law or cyberspace law is a rapidly-changing area and we will attempt to keep this online chapter of ASTA’s Travel Agent Manual as current as possible.

Sample Disclosure Language — July 11, 2007
For Use by All Sellers of Travel Revised As of January 1, 1999 Based on the California Seller of Travel Law

States Agencies That Regulate Travel Sellers — July 11, 2007
The following grid lists states that regulate travel sales and/or travel sellers and the government office responsible for enforcement of the regulation.

Collecting a Judgment — July 10, 2007
If your travel agency wins a judgment against a client or other party for money owed, the court will record that fact on the court's records. Now the question is: will the defendant pay the judgment, and if not, how can the judgment be enforced?

Injury to Travelers — July 10, 2007
Relatively few cases have squarely dealt with travel agents' liability for physical injury or illness of their client travelers. Even among those cases that refer to a party as a "travel agent," upon examination it often is the case that the party was in reality acting as a tour operator.

Protecting Your Agency — July 10, 2007
There is, of course, a natural tension between the travel agent's role as travel promoter and salesperson, on the one hand, and the agent's need to protect himself from litigation by unsatisfied clients, on the other hand.

Liability Case Law - NY — July 10, 2007
The law with respect to a travel agent's responsibility in the event of another's failure to provide the client with travel services is probably best developed in New York.

Legal Liability of Travel Agents — July 10, 2007
Travel agents owe a duty of care to the traveling public they serve, including a duty to confirm reservations and to provide all relevant and necessary information.

Application of New E-Mail Spam Legislation to the Retail Travel Industry — July 10, 2007
This paper explains how to apply the new e-mail spam legislation to the retail travel industry. There are aspects of the law that are not particularly relevant to the retail travel industry or that are not immediately of concern, such as the 'do-not-email registry.' In the interest of brevity, this paper does not address those.

Junk Faxes — July 10, 2007
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 contained rules that impact agents' ability to send facsimiles (fax messages) to their customers. The rules also impacted the way in which suppliers solicit travel agency business.

ASTA Member Checklist for Assistance In Complying With the (Federal) Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005 — July 10, 2007
Does my company have an ‘Established Business Relationship’ (EBR) with the recipient, meaning a prior or existing relationship, formed by a voluntary two-way communication between the sender and the recipient, based on an inquiry, application, purchase or transaction by the recipient regarding products or services offered by the sender, which relationship has not been previously terminated by either party?

Discrimination Laws and Employment — July 10, 2007
Coverage of the Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted on July 26, 1990

Employment Issues Related to E-Mail and the Internet — July 10, 2007
The 2000 ASTA Office Automation Survey found that 89.3% of ASTA members had Internet access in their offices, and nearly as many used e-mail. Given that Internet access and e-mail are becoming more integral aspects of office life, it is important to consider the employment issues that may result.

Decisions of the Department of Transporation — July 10, 2007
During its 56 year history, the Civil Aeronautics Board issued many orders affecting travel agents. Most of those decisions are of historical interest only, since their effect had been fully achieved by or ended with the enactment of the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978. We have summarized below the one CAB decision that indisputably has impacted every travel agency in the country and, in many ways, continues to do so.

Grievances Against Lawyers — July 10, 2007
Lawyers are regulated by the courts of the state in which they practice. They are subject to a strict code of professional conduct and can be severely disciplined for violating it, including loss of the right to practice law in the state. For that reason the number of actual malpractice and grievance enforcement proceedings is quite small.

Antitrust Law — July 10, 2007
The antitrust laws are examples of very fundamental policies of American society. To understand how they work, it is helpful to focus on the purposes of these laws.

Draft Travel Agency Group Commission Agreement — July 10, 2007
A sample commission agreement between travel suppliers and travel agencies

Functional Status of Travel Agencies — July 9, 2007
The threshold question that must be resolved is in what functional category do travel agents belong for purposed of legal analysis. Here, the courts have differed. Several courts have concluded that a travel agent is, legally, an "agent," that is, a party authorized by another to act for him in the conduct of his business, a business representative whose function is to effect contractual obligations between principals and third parties.

Rights of Travel Agents — July 9, 2007
The focus here is to set out some of the key business and legal rights that travel agents have and which they should vigorously assert. These rights may be exercised individually and not in consultation, coordination or agreement with other agents or with ASTA.

Federal Government Travel Contracts — July 9, 2007
The two sources that control most federal government contracting with travel agencies are the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Military Traffic Management Command (MTMC).

The Employee Classification Quandary Report — June 20, 2007
A premium member report on how travel agents 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 of 1938).

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.

Protecting Your Travel Business: Legal Issues Regarding the Use of Independent Contractors — June 13, 2007
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.

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.
ASTA - American Society of Travel Agents
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