ARTA and ARTA Canada Applaud U.S. Court TRO Against Sabre

Open Allies and ACTA Need to Tamp Down Rhetoric and Myths

Scottsdale, Arizona and Toronto, Ontario - 10 January 2011: The Association of Retail Travel Agents (ARTA) and the Association of Retail Travel Agents - Canada (ARTA Canada)
applauded a decision today by a U.S. court in Texas to grant a temporary restraining order requested by American Airlines against Sabre's bias and de-preferencing of AA data.


"This is good news indeed for all Sabre subscribers and assures that AA content will continue to be accessible efficiently and without obstacle", said Sally Watkins, CTC, ARTA Vice Chairman.

"We said from the beginning that Sabre was mixing itself into a dispute in which it had no involvement other than to backstop support for other GDSs which moved against AA. The end result, as we predicted, would be that travel agents suffer as a result of GDSs making AA data more difficult to find, or, as Sabre indicated for Summer 2011, not at all", said ARTA Canada President Bruce Bishins, CTC.

Bishins warned that the vitriolic posturing of the so-called "Open Allies" group (ASTA, BTC, ITSA, GDSs, etc.) and similar stands taken by the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA) will do nothing more than make airlines dig in their heels even further in trying to control their distribution costs and product differentiation.

The allies group and ACTA continue to propagate myths about transparency, single airline access, and the loss of fare comparison information, when the reality is that GDSs themselves are also being asked to connect directly to AA - maintaining the status quo of traditional data displays, but with new, increased services and products at a fraction of the cost.

The benefit to carriers and their agents is indisputable.

"If the allies and ACTA keep this up, they will only have themselves to blame as airlines lose patience with the retail travel agency sector, and instead of embracing them in new platforms and connectivity, will simply move on with agents not being at the table to influence these critically important enhancements", added Bishins.

ARTA and ARTA Canada are confident that AA and other carriers will prevail in the end, bringing to travel agents and their clients, new, cost-effective, functionality and broader service customization. It is time for the GDSs and their allies to be a cooperative part of these exciting changes; not an impediment to them..

About ARTA 

ARTA has always been at the forefront of those industry changes which have strengthened the agency community. Founded in 1963, and for the past 47 years, the Association of Retail Travel Agents is the largest non-profit association in North America that represents travel agents exclusively. 

ARTA is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona. ARTA is the strategic partner of Canadian-based ARTA Canada. For more information about ARTA, please contact Ms. Pat Funk, ARTA's Executive Director, at 1-866-369-8969 or by e-mail to

About ARTA Canada 

ARTA Canada is the largest non-profit federally incorporated professional association of travel retailers in Canada, the members of which consist exclusively of travel agencies and travel agents. In addition to advocating fair and equitable treatment of travel consumers, ARTA Canada represents the commercial and strategic interests of its member travel agencies and travel agents in a variety of national and provincial domains including regulatory and legislative matters, automation, technology, sales and marketing, and distribution.

ARTA Canada is based in Toronto and is the strategic partner in Canada of the U.S.-based Association of Retail Travel Agents (ARTA). ARTA Canada is the Canadian member of UFTAA, the United Federation of Travel Agents' Associations.

Complete details about ARTA Canada's new $99 membership campaign for 2011 and an online ARTA Canada membership application and secure payment are available on its web site at

    ARTA  |  4320 North Miller Road  |  Scottsdale, Arizona, USA  |  85251 

  ARTA Canada  |  61 Hayden Street  |  Toronto, Ontario, Canada  |  M4Y 2P2