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A FAILING GRADE

The Business Travel Coalition (BTC) has released findings from a survey of 127 travel industry professionals from 14 countries with respect to the highly anticipated U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) rulemaking regarding the disclosure of airline ancillary services fees. The overwhelming consensus is that DOT should require airlines to share ancillary fee information with distribution channels where they sell their base fares and in a format that enables the purchase of such services in the same transaction as the ticket purchase.
Since major U.S. airlines in 2008 began unbundling their products and charging for services previously included in the price of a ticket they have refused to provide ancillary fee data to travel agencies in the U.S. and around the world so that customers, including business travellers using online booking tools, could see, compare and buy such services in the same transaction as the ticket purchase. Airlines for 5 years have ignored their very best corporate customers\’ demands for both this information and for the restoration of efficient comparison-shopping.
BTC chairman, Kevin Mitchell said: \”Greater than 90% of all survey participants believe that the marketplace is failing as evidenced by the fact that in 5 years not a single major U.S. airline has responded to its customers\’ demands. Some 97.8% of travel managers think that DOT should exercise its authority to police unfair and deceptive marketing practices.\”
And Mitchell added: \”The airline industry has substantially consolidated and in refusing to provide fee information airlines are in competitive lockstep with each other — a central concern of the U.S. Department of Justice in its lawsuit to block the merger of US Airways and American Airlines.\”
The complete results are available at http://btcnews.co/1fUQR6o .

Posted in Airlines, News

 

 

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