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Open Allies Continues Battle Against Airline FeesApril 8, 2011 By: George Dooley Travel Agent
The ongoing battle for airfare transparency continues with Kevin Mitchell, chairman of the Business Travel Coalition (BTC). Mitchell recently blasted current airline policies regarding fees on The Open Allies for Airfare Transparency website’s blog.
The BTC has attempted to muster consumer and industry support for fare transparency and the travel agency distribution channel. In his blog, Mitchell cited news from Orbitz and recent PhoCusWright research that appeared online at TravelAgentCentral.com.
The following are excerpts from Mitchell’s blog, titled “In the News: Consumers Speak Out Against Airline Fees:”
“Today, airlines are refusing to provide consumers who purchase in the travel agency sales channel with optional fee information that would allow easy comparative review of all-in fares across various airlines. As the Orbitz survey shows, consumers highly value this electronic innovation. Static lists buried on an airline website are unworkable when because of optional fees there are now easily hundreds of thousands of combinations for each potential trip rendering manual side-by-side comparisons virtually impossible.
Yes, there is profit in consumer confusion. And most certainly yes, consumer anger will grow and regulators and legislators will step in to safeguard consumer interests if airlines continue to stonewall on this issue.”
“So, when Orbitz celebrates its 20th anniversary, will airlines have killed The Goose That Laid The Golden Eggs through unrestrained greed and commercial shortsightedness? Or, will enlightened airline leadership emerge to do right by the customer and usher in an age of true airline prosperity? I am hoping for the latter but working with Open Allies to protect against the former.”
To read Mitchell’s entire blog entry, visit www.faretransparency.org/consumers-speak-out-against-airline-fees.