New coalition demands air fare transparency

A new group has been formed in the US that will fight moves by airlines to drive more bookings through direct connect systems.


The Open Allies for Airfare Transparency has emerged as the row between American Airlines and GDS Travelport rumbles on amid concerns that the airline is looking to cut out intermediaries.


American has also been accused of taking a stance that is anti-consumer and that will make it more difficult for websites to offer price transparency and comparison.


OAAT, is a grouping of individuals, organisations and companies that have a vested interest in airline fees and fares being made transparent to the travelling public.


It said it will support recent proposals by the US Department of Transportation and Congress that would require all airlines to disclose their ancillary fee data to TMCs, agents and online travel agents.


The director of the new alliance Andrew Weinstein, has previously been a spokesman for the Interactive Travel Services Association (ITSA), a pro-travel agent lobby group.


OAAT said it will oppose moves by airlines to force agents to use direct booking systems that seek to cut our existing systems.


In a statement announcing its formation the group said:  “The airlines are some of our closest partners, and we understand that the business model for air travel has changed, and ancillary fees are here to stay.


“… the Open Allies coalition simply believes that airlines have an obligation to listen to their best customers – the members of the coalition – and meet our needs.


“We will not be told what systems we have to use, nor blocked from comparing prices between airlines, nor prevented from designing the best flight options for our customers.


“As a group, we will demand that the airlines embrace the principles of openness and transparency and lift the curtain behind which they have hidden their ancillary fees and fares.”


 

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