January 22 - BTC Lauds Open Allies’ Breakthrough Agreement With IATA

Consumers, Inter-Channel Competition Protected

Business Travel Coalition (BTC) today applauded Open Allies For Airfare Transparency (Open Allies) for achieving a breakthrough negotiated agreement with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) over a robust and detailed set of limitations jointly filed today with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) concerning IATA’s Resolution 787. The agreed limitations effectively address all the objections and apprehensions that travel industry participants, interested third party experts and consumers communicated to DOT in the public docket regarding Resolution 787, and the associated New Distribution Capability, or NDC. 

As modified by the agreed limitations, it is now clear that DOT is being asked by IATA to approve only an agreement on a process for the setting of technical communications standards that would, if ultimately developed, be open standards, that would be available to all on a non-discriminatory basis, and that the decision of any industry players on whether to adopt them would be wholly voluntary. Importantly, with these agreed limitations, it is now clear that DOT is not being asked by IATA to approve any agreement among airlines that would require the disclosure by any passenger of personal information. 

“If DOT chooses to approve Resolution 787, with  the detailed limitations that Open Allies and IATA have negotiated, then BTC will withdraw its objections filed with DOT on behalf of hundreds of government, university and corporate travel managers, travel management companies, industry associations and other stakeholders from nineteen countries, who represent millions of travelers (http://btcnews.co/ZUBwu7),” stated BTC chairman and Open Allies founding member Kevin Mitchell. “While this breakthrough agreement has the potential to usher in an era of industry-wide collaboration on technical standards, BTC will carefully monitor the implementation of Resolution 787, if approved, for adherence to the agreement,” added Mitchell.

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