Travel Technology Association Files Comments with DoT Supporting Transparency & Consumer Protections Requests Hearing on Feasibility of Implementation of Innovation Stifling Rules
Washington, DC | January 24, 2023 10:00 AM Eastern Standard Time
The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech), the voice of the travel technology industry and consistent advocate for public policy that supports a competitive and transparent marketplace, filed comments today in response to the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on “Enhancing Transparency of Airline Ancillary Service Fees” (DOT-OST-2022-0109).
“Travel Tech has long supported the U.S. Department of Transportation’s efforts to ensure consumers have access to critical ancillary fee information. We did so in 2014 and are doing so again in 2023,” stated Laura Chadwick, President & CEO of the Travel Technology Association. “For too long, consumers have lacked the consistent ability to know the true cost of different flight options.”
In its comments, Travel Tech addresses how ancillary fee information should be provided to ticket agents. In its proposed rule, the DOT seeks to omit global distribution systems from receiving mandatory ancillary fee data from airlines.
“Travel Tech strongly recommends that ancillary fee data be shared with all channels that distribute fare and schedule information,” Chadwick continued. “It is the most simple and direct way to solve the issue of ancillary fee transparency for consumers.”
Travel Tech also filed a petition today requesting a hearing on DOT’s proposed requirement to display the critical ancillary fee information on the first page of online search results. Travel Tech addresses this matter in its comments.
“Our members are the leading innovators in creating consumer-friendly online travel information sites. We are deeply concerned about the DOT’s first-page search results requirements included in the proposed regulation. These rules, if adopted as written, will clutter and confuse the online air travel shopping experience for consumers. This is especially true for travel comparison sites that display multiple airlines’ schedules and fares,” said Chadwick.
“In our comments and hearing petition, we argue that the Department should not displace ticket agents’ well-established expertise with a government-regulated website design mandate. Ticket agents should have the flexibility to design appropriate displays of ancillary fees and develop innovative new methods for consumers as well,” Chadwick continued.
About Travel Tech
The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) is the voice of the travel technology industry, advocating for public policy that promotes transparency and competition in the marketplace to encourage innovation and preserve consumer choice. Travel Tech represents the leading innovators in travel technology, including global distribution systems, online travel agencies and metasearch companies, travel management companies, and short-term rental platforms.
To schedule an interview with a Travel Tech spokesperson, contact Dan Rene of kglobal at 202-329-8357 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Travel Technology Association