September 22, 2010 - U.S. Department of Trasportation Regarding Airline Fee Data


September 22, 2010

 

The Honorable Ray LaHood

Secretary

U.S. Department of Transportation

1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE

Washington, DC 2059


Dear Secretary LaHood   

We the undersigned corporate travel managers and travel management company executives urge you through your currently open Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) to require airlines to make add-on fee data easily accessible not only on their websites, but also to the travel agency channel - through any global distribution system - in which an airline has agreed to participate. We note that a recent U.S. General Accountability Office report to Congress concluded that airlines are not likely to disclose these fees unless compelled to do so.

Without these data we cannot effectively manage our travel programs. It is virtually impossible to budget and control our air travel spend; exceedingly difficult to effectively verify travel policy compliance; problematic to audit travelers’ purchases; and challenging to negotiate contracts with airlines without full visibility into air spend. What’s more, our travelers are often surprised to find hidden fees – often adding 30% or more to the price of a ticket – upon arrival at the airport.

Mr. Secretary, the corporate travel community fully supports the Department’s direction with its NPRM. The results of a recent Business Travel Coalition survey reveal a sea change in thinking about government oversight in commercial air transportation:

  • 100% of corporate travel managers indicated that unbundling and extra fees have caused serious problems for their managed travel programs.
  • 86% believe that airlines, absent government rules, will not make fair, adequate and readily accessible disclosure of their add-on fees and charges so that travel managers and their travel management companies can do comparison shopping of the all-in prices for air travel across carriers.
  • 95% support the proposal that the U.S. DOT require airlines to make add-on data available and easily accessible to the travel agency channel through any global distribution system in which that airline has agreed to participate.


Our managed travel programs help comprise the fifty percent or more of air travelers who do not purchase tickets on airlines’ websites, but rather through online travel agencies and travel management companies. This is why it is imperative that airlines be required to provide these add-on fee data to our travel management companies. Indeed, the scores of billions of dollars in annual corporate air travel spend largely underwrites the national air transportation system.

We appreciate your untiring leadership on behalf of the airline industry consumer, including the business traveler and the companies that fund business travel activities.

Sincerely,

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Merck KGaA
GlaxoSmithKline
McDonald's Corp
Campbell Soup Company
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
National Semiconductor
Ingersoll Rand
SAP AG
EMC
BASF Corporation
Goodrich Corporation
Eaton Corporation
Chubb & Son
Sapient
DHL
Deltek, Inc.
Discovery Communications
HealthCare California
Gartner
Agility Defense and Government Services
The MITRE Corporation
Autodesk
Cadence Design Systems, Inc.
Schlumberger
Dollar Tree
Cessna Aircraft Company
Verband Deutsches Reisemanagement e.V. (VDR)
SAS Autosystemtechnik Verwaltungs GmbH
Advantage Focus Partnership
American Quarter Horse Association
American Society of Travel Agents
Association for Airline Passenger Rights
Association of Blind Citizens
Business Travel Coalition
Consumer Travel Alliance
David & Lucile Packard Foundation
Finnish Business Travel Association
Medical Whistleblower
National Association of Electrical Engineers
National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance
Scottish Passenger Agents Association
VDR - The German Business Travel Association
University of Notre Dame
Iowa State University
The Ohio State University Aviation Department
The University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas at Austin
UVA Law Library
Town of Burrillville
Loews Hotels
Marriott
Farmont Hotels
Sun Chemical Corporation
FreemanWhite
Lumbermens Merchandising Corporation
Makino, Inc.
Burlington Coat Factory
SEI Investments Company
Hornbeck Offshore
Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc.
Sunbelt Rentals
Tenet Healthcare
Oki Data Americas, Inc.
PAREXEL International
CONVERTEAM UK LTD
TMD Friction Services GmbH
TNT
Schaeffler Group
Tognum AG / MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH
Academy Sports + Outdoors
Crowley Maritime Corporation
Sanmina-SCI
Novell, Inc.
Teradata Corporation
CMM Advisors
Goss International
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
Technicolor, USA, Inc.
Eclipse Global Transportation
Provisur Technologies, Inc.
Cannon Design
Gesellschaft für Entwicklung, Beschaffung und Betrieb mbH
Villa Roquette
TDR
P&V Enterprises
Purcell Systems, Inc.
PPD
Nealsan Corp
Grant Thornton
Owings Enterprises, Inc.
Lighthouse Consulting
Dental Specialties of America
HG Worldwide
Keane Consulting, Inc.
Quest Software
Schneider Electric
RW & Associates, Inc.

ASTA PREMIUM MEMBER SIGNATORIES

ABC Corporate Services, Inc.

All Seasons Travel / American Express

All-Travel

Blue Ribbon Business Travel International

Bursch Travel

Casto Travel

CI Travel

Colwick Travel

CTS Corporate Travel Solutions

Fox World Travel, Inc.

Global Custom Tours

Global Travel

Hess Travel

Hickory Travel Systems

Mann Travels

MAST Vacation Partners

Maupin Travel

Menno Travel Service, Inc.

Nexion

Omega World Travel

Plaza Tours/ Viajes Plaza

Radius Travel

San Diego Travel Group, Inc.

Travel Experts

Travel Leaders

Travel Leaders / MSP Travel Group

Travel Management Partners

Travel-On, Ltd.

Travel Planners International, Inc.

TravelStore, Inc.

UNIGLOBE Travel Partners

Wings Travel Group

Worldview Travel

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A Plus Travel Corp.

A Quick Trip Inc.

A&P Cruises and Tours

A1 Travel

Absolute Travel Solutions

Accent Travel Int'l

Addies You and I Travel

Advanced Incentive Travel

Advanced Travel Partners (UK) Ltd

Advent Travel/ Travel Leaders

Age of Travel

Alexander Travel

All Aboard Travel, Inc.

All Points Travel

Anthony Travel, Inc.

Applause Travel Inc.

At Your Service Travel, Inc.

Atlantic-Pacific Travel - Travel Leaders

Atlas Travel of Decatur, IL

Austin Travel Corp.

Away We Go Travel, Inc.

B C Cruises and Tours

Bartelt Travel Consultants

Beggy, Inc. dba Travel Leaders

Benefits and Travel

Berger Travel Agency, Inc.

Berkeley's Northside Travel

Blue BTI Travel

Burkhalter Travel Agency, Inc.

BYU-Idaho Travel Office

Capitol Travel Service, Inc.

Carefree Travel & Cruises

Century Travel Service, Inc.

Christopherson Business Travel

Classic Holiday Travel

Classic Travel

Classic Travel and Tours

Club Voyages Dumoulin

Conference & Travel

Corporate Travel Management, Inc.

Cresta World Travel

Custom Travel

CWT

DC Global Meetings and Events

Deramus Travel, Inc.

Destinations Unlimited, inc/Travel Leaders

Duluth Travel

Dunn's Destinations Travel

Eagle Travel Services, Inc.

Edina Travel Leaders

El Sol Travel, Inc.

Empress Travel

Everyone's Travel Services, Inc.

Exceptional Travel Service

FAE Travel

Fair Winds Travel Agency, Inc.

Fairview Travel Service, Inc.

Fantastic Travel, Inc.

Far Horizons Travel

First National Travel

Flight Planners Travel, Inc.

Free Spirit Travel LLC

French's Worldwide Travel

Friendship Travel

Gala Travel

GalaxSea Cruises & Tours

Gemini Travel Agency, Inc.

Global Connections Travel Service, Inc.

Global Travel Ltd

Grande Voyages

Gulliver's Travel

Hamilton, Miller, Hudson and Fayne Travel Mgt Corp

Hidden Treasure Tours

International Tours

International Tours & Cruises

International Tours of Nacogdoches

Jade Travel

Journeys Unlimited Inc.

Julie's Travel Desk LLC

Kaleva Travel Ltd

Kaye Britton Travel

Kilauea Travel Group, Inc.

Liberty Global Europe

Lindberg Travel

Ludlow Travel Service, Inc. d/b/a Travel Leaders

MAD Travel

Magic Carpet Travel

MERRITT TRAVEL, INC.

MMC Travel

Mokihana Travel Service LLC

Nelson Travel Consultants, Inc.

Nichols Travel

Outland Travel, Inc.

Owings Enterprises, Inc.

Pace/Travel Leaders

Pausanias, Inc. dba CW Journeys

Preferred Travel & Cruise Inc.

Premiere Travel

Prime Time Travel, Inc.

Pyramid World Travel, Inc.

Quorn Business Travel

Rawhide Travel and Tours, Incorporated of Arizona

Results Travel

Richcreek Vacation Center

Shasta Travel Service, Inc.

Shelby Travel Agency

Sisters Three Travel Co.

Sojourn Travel Service, Inc.

Spears Travel

Sportscorp Travel

Springall Travel, Inc.

Sunbdancer Travel

Sunflower Travel

Sunnyland Tours

Sunset Travel Agency

Tantastic Travel, Inc.

Taylor Made Travel Company, Inc.

Teel's Travel Planners, Inc.

Tempo Travel

The Horner Corp dba Travel Leaders

The Joy of Travel

The Travel Company Edinburgh

The Travel Exchange

The Travel Experience, Inc.

The Travel Gallery

TLG Travel

Travel Advisors International

Travel by Nelson Ltd.

Travel Center Inc.

Travel Escapes, Inc.

Travel Incorporated- Travel Management Company

Travel Landing USA

Travel Leaders - Discovery World

Travel Leaders / Marz Travel

Travel Leaders / Spears Travel

Travel Leaders / Travel Advisors International

Travel Leaders Albertville

Travel Leaders Fairfax Virginia

Travel Leaders Indy

Travel Leaders of Fargo

Travel Leaders of Wausau

Travel Leaders Spokane

Travel Leaders/Ambassador Travel

Travel Leaders/Apollo Bock

Travel Leaders/Bentley Hedges Travel

Travel Leaders/Business Travel Inc.

Travel Leaders/Carousel Travel Inc.

Travel Leaders/Happy Holidays Travel

Travel Leaders/International Sun Travel Agency

Travel Leaders/Jan's Travel and Cruise

Travel Leaders/Journeys Travel Group

Travel Leaders/Katy Van Travel, Inc.

Travel Leaders/Kiernan Travel

Travel Leaders/Marz Travel

Travel Leaders/Premier Travel, Inc.

Travel Leaders/Signature Travel Boutique

Travel Leaders/Spears Travel

Travel Leaders/Travel Advisors International

Travel Leaders/Tripco Travel Service

Travel Leaders/World Travel Agency

Travel Plus, Inc.

Travel Resources

Travel Shoppe

Travel Time Travel Agency, Inc.

Travel Unlimited

Travelcade, Inc.

Travelquarters, Inc.

Traveltime of London, Inc.

Travelworks

Tubby Lohmer's Travel Leaders

Turon Travel, Inc.

Ul-Tra Business Travel, Inc.

Uniglobe Normark Travel, Inc.

Unique Travel Service

Valleyhill Travel

Wilshire Travel

Windows of the World Travel Ltd

World Travel Inc.

World Travel Mat

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