The Short Report

New APEX Standards Gather Steam

The McLean, VA-based Convention Industry Council's APEX (Accepted Practices Exchange) initiative received some finishing touches from a roundtable of top industry educators, who weighed in on the proposed industry standards at the August 2003 annual meeting of the International Council on Hotel and Restaurant Institutional Educators in Palm Springs, CA.

The council's vision for APEX is to create an industry-wide set of standards and accepted practices that will be released in six sets, beginning in November, when standards on terminology and meeting histories will be released.

Major Carriers Relax Fare Restrictions

In a move that should please many consumers, American Airlines, the world's largest air carrier, started a trend among the major carriers when it changed its fare rules to allow more latitude for rescheduling by travelers who purchase nonrefundable tickets. The airline now gives passengers with nonrefundable fares a year from when their original tickets were issued to reschedule, without losing the value of their tickets. Other major carriers that followed suit include Continental, Delta, and United.

FCC Suspends Anti-Fax Blast Ruling

Bowing to pressure from associations and trade groups, the Federal Communications Commission suspended until January of 2005 enforcement of controversial regulations that disallow associations and businesses from sending unsolicited commercial faxes as a violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

The opponents of the regulations contend that they place an unfair burden on associations by requiring them to seek written permission from their members before sending faxes, and hamper marketing efforts and business-to-business communication. Several organizations have mobilized to protest the law, including the American Society of Association Executives.