Restoring True Air Travel Comparison Shopping
We invite you to join a public-policy petition and campaign urging the Administration to support restoring true comparison shopping for airline consumers. Leisure and business travelers alike are being financially harmed by airlines' refusals to provide travel agencies and consumers with fee information so that "all-in" prices (base fares and fees) of air travel options can be quickly compared. <petition begins next>
WE THE UNDERSIGNED PETITION THE ADMINISTRATION TO:
Proceed immediately with a U.S. Department of Transportation rulemaking to restore air travel comparison shopping for consumers.
Airlines have been charging for services such as for checking bags and have been hiding fees by withholding information from travel agencies such that consumers cannot efficiently compare the prices of alternatives and must visit numerous airline websites. This unfair and deceptive marketing practice is harming consumers.
Airlines have been able to withhold fee information for 5 years - evidence of a failing market. Importantly, when Congress deregulated this market, consumer protections were consolidated at DOT leaving travelers with no legal recourse under state consumer-protection laws.
DOT must require airlines, via a rulemaking, to provide fee information to sales channels where they offer base fares so consumers can see, compare and buy the complete air travel product. <petition ends here>
BTC Chairman Kevin Mitchell urges travel industry professionals, consumer groups and individual citizens to engage this petition campaign and help empower colleagues, employees, clients, corporate travelers, family members and friends to influence an important public policy issue that impacts their lives:
In early 2013 DOT is expected to advance for public comment a new rulemaking addressing this consumer abuse. Some airlines have been and will continue to agressively fight such a rule with their vast resources as there is great profit in consumer confusion. However, after 5 years of airlines stonewalling consumer and corporate travel manager demands for fee information and full price transparency, it's time to restore true comparison shopping for all air travel consumers.
This is a completely decentralized campaign that travel industry and consumer group leaders are encouraged to join. In the sidebar there are links to toolkits for each industry participant. Each toolkit contains communications templates that can be downloaded and customized to invite all stakeholders to get involved in this campaign. Likewise, visitors should feel free to copy any and all of this site's information or tools to their own webpages. There's no need to check in with BTC, just take action!