Travel Weekly's Technology E-letter: July 5, 2007

ARC is slated to roll out a Web-based tool in mid-July that will automate the management of the mostly manual process for negotiating and settling debit and credit memos. About 1,170 agency locations and about 21 airlines, but no U.S. majors, had pre-registered for ARC Memo Manager as of last week. However, ARC expects major U.S. carriers to sign-on "imminently." ARC Memo Manager enables airlines, agencies and GDSs to conduct their dialogue online, share documentation and settle the matter electronically. ARC believes the new tool will reduce costs for all parties. Agents will retain the ability to pull memos in dispute from the settlement process, said ASTA. Agent use of ARC Memo Manager will not be mandatory. "Nonetheless, it is anticipated that some participating airlines may individually mandate that agents use Memo Manager to process their memos," ASTA stated.

DELTA revamped Delta.com in partnership with iSeatz and travel insurance provider Access America, expanding the array of non-air inventory that travelers can book along with their Delta flights. In the same booking path that visitors use for flight reservations, consumers also can book hotels, car rentals, airport parking, Crown Room Club passes and destination activities. In the relaunch of Delta.com, iSeatz, a New Orleans-headquartered company, provided a technology solution and some of the vendor relationships, particularly for ground transportation and airport parking. Access America is also a technology provider and is offering trip protection options.

VACATION.COM will launch a leisure-selling system, EZGuider, focused on the group's preferred suppliers of cruise, tour, insurance and ancillary travel products. The platform, to make its debut in November, will be free to member agencies and accessible via AgentNet, the trade group's intranet. Comm-tec Solutions, the U.S. division of U.K.-based Comtec, developed the platform. Future upgrades will provide air, car and hotel booking capabilities, according to Vacation.com, which disclosed its plans in New Orleans at its annual conference.

THE ASSOCIATION OF CORPORATE TRAVEL EXECUTIVES and the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a friend-of-the-court brief related to laptop inspections and seizures at U.S. borders, arguing that such scrutiny minimally should be based on reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. The two organizations stated that they "greatly value secure national borders, but also urge the court to require that our borders be policed reasonably." The brief, filed last month in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Los Angeles, asks the court to affirm a lower court ruling in U.S. v. Michael Timothy Arnold. In that ruling, which the government is appealing, the lower court threw out evidence against the defendant in a child pornography case, saying that border agents' initial warrantless search of the defendant's laptop violated Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches.

EXPEDIA CORPORATE TRAVEL plans to expand service into Italy in August, which would be its fifth point of sale in Europe. ECT will provide corporate travel services in Italy in partnership with L'Orchidea Viaggi, a travel management company that will provide local fulfillment services. ECT has Europe operations in France, Germany, the U.K. and Belgium.

SPECIAL NOTE:Beginning in July, the Technology E-letter will be published once a month, on the first Thursday of each month.

Technology Editor: Dennis Schaal

Phone: (201) 902-1904

[email protected]

For promotional opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].

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