The Open Allies for Airfare Transparency, a coalition representing all of the stakeholders in the managed travel community, reported that the 250th member has joined the group. The key issue for the coalition is efforts to urge major airlines to share all of their fare and ancillary fee information through the sales channels they opt to use.
"In the month since Open Allies launched, we have witnessed a groundswell of support for the common-sense principle that all airline fees and fares should be transparent to and comparable by a traveler shopping for flights," said Andrew Weinstein, director of Open Allies. "There is a clear and growing consensus among policymakers, travel companies, and consumers that hidden fees and closed systems are wrong. We urge the airlines to disclose all of their fees and fares through any distribution channels in which they participate."
Less than a month after launch, the coalition now includes 26 firms with annual sales of more than $100 million as well as corporate travel departments from many of the world’s leading companies, Weinstein said. Major agency and consumer groups are included.
New trade organizations joining as members since launch include Advantage, the United Kingdom’s largest independent travel group; the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies; the Association for Passenger Rights; and the Travel Agents Federation of India. They joined peer organizations, including the American Society of Travel Agents, Business Travel Coalition, European Technology and Travel Services Association, Interactive Travel Services Association and the Scottish Passenger Agents Association.
Open Allies also reported it has undertaken an aggressive international push for new members, particularly focused on Latin American and Caribbean countries, given the negative impact that hidden fees and fragmented systems would have on travelers around the world. Open Allies is also planning the imminent launch of new websites in Spanish and Portuguese for increased exposure in Latin American markets. Dozens of coalition members are companies or trade organizations headquartered outside the U.S. that appreciate the global implications of this issue, Weinstein said.