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Thursday, 16 January 2014

ACTA Voices Concern To WestJet & Sabre
Impending WestJet-Sabre GDS blackout raises concern in the travel agent community, ACTA delivers letters to the two organizations
David McCaig, president & COO, ACTA
David McCaig, president & COO, ACTA
ACTA is concerned with the impending "blackout" between WestJet and the Sabre Travel Network, which will go into effect on Jan. 26.

WestJet and Sabre began negotiations in June of 2012 with the goal of reaching a new agreement, however, in October of 2013 the airline issued a notice of termination that will effectively remove all WestJet content from the Sabre GDS on Jan. 26.

On Wednesday, ACTA submitted a letter to Gregg Saretsky, CEO, WestJet and Tom Klein, CEO of Sabre Holdings to voice concerns raised by its members on the topic of WestJet's issuance of "Notice of Termination" to Sabre.

"Our members have been raising legitimate concerns related to the severe adverse financial impact that this "blackout" will have on their business both operationally in the form of time and resources, and financially towards their bottom line. Although alternatives are in place to handle bookings during a "blackout", the fact remains that the retail travel community is the defenseless party. Our members who book full service packages, high volume and corporate airfare are at highest risk of service failures," David McCaig, president and COO, ACTA, wrote in the letter.

"We are hopeful that two of ACTA's most valued partners will come to a mutually beneficial agreement to avoid any content outages within the Sabre GDS, relieving the agency community of any strain to their working environment," he added.

WestJet has previously stated that it regrets the inconvenience caused to agencies by the lack of progress in contract negotiations and that the website westjet.com/agent/en/help/Sabre-GDS-termination.shtml is the best source of information on how to make new bookings and manage existing bookings once the blackout goes into effect.

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