Voices of Travel

NOT A SLAM DUNK

The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) has filed comments with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recommending that the Department reject the application of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for approval of Resolution 787 governing the New Distribution Capability (NDC). ASTA was also a party to the parallel filing of the Open Allies Coalition, a group of nearly 400 independent sellers of air travel, corporate travel departments, travel trade associations and consumer organizations that believe air travellers should be able to see, compare and buy the total airfare, including optional ancillary fees, at all points of sale. “ASTA members advise and advocate for the travelling public. ASTA members applaud and adopt new technology that facilitates service of the travelling public. Comparative shopping is one of the bedrocks of a free and open market, and movement to restrict or impair comparative shopping is harmful to consumers. As such, ASTA recommended that DOT reject NDC as currently proposed,”said Zane Kerby, president and CEO of ASTA. “In a competitive marketplace, the consumer will always have choices. We are not confident that NDC, as constructed and presented, will assure that such freedom continues to exist. We have therefore had no choice but to oppose DOT approval of the application,”Kerby concluded. ASTA’s comments on the NDC application may be viewed at http://www.asta.org/Government/TestimonyList.cfm?navItemNumber=8355 .

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