The Travel Technology Association has big issues with International Air Transport Association's (IATA's) application for approval of the inter-carrier agreement contained in Resolution 787. That agreement is related to enhanced airline distribution.
In a press release, Travel Tech said "The closed-door deliberations by a group of major airlines to significantly limit how consumers shop and compare airline fares and schedules should not be endorsed by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)."
Travel Tech formally submitted to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) comments in opposition to the application, stating: "Since IATA failed to show that the agreement to develop the New Distribution Capability (NDC) is in the public interest as required under 49 USC Section 41309, Resolution 787 should not be approved," the association told the DOT.
Simon Gros, Travel Tech's chairman, said both the application and accompanying IATA documents raise serious questions about the motive behind the resolution's development. "The technological advancements IATA supposedly seeks to establish are already being developed by travel distribution and technology companies operating in the free market without any governmental encouragement, rendering DOT action in this area unnecessary," stressed Gros.
Instead, Travel Tech argued that NDC is an outgrowth of an agreement between 240 competing IATA airlines that will obscure the true cost of flying. It said the impact would be higher ticket prices for consumers worldwide.
"The traveling public values Travel Tech member companies because they enable effective comparison shopping across all airlines," Gros said. "It is incumbent upon the DOT to reject any collective airline industry attempt to substitute the current market-driven distribution system with a different model in the absence of any sufficient justification for doing so."
The Travel Technology Association, or Travel Tech, is the association for online travel companies and global distribution systems. Its members include: Amadeus, Expedia, Orbitz Worldwide, Priceline, Sabre, Travelport and Vegas.com.