Friday, 30 May 2014

My objections to airlines' plan to "personalize" prices

Today I filed formal objections to U.S. Department of of Transportation's tentative decision to approve a proposal from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to replace publicly-disclosed tariffs of airfares with "personalized" airline ticket prices.

Most of the initial objections to IATA's proposal came from within the travel industry. These squabbles over the spoils were resolved by a settlement agreement between airlines, travel agencies, and data hosting(CRS/GDS) companies.

DOT has given tentative approval to that "settlement". But neither the "settlement" nor DOT's tentative decision address the concerns of travellers and ticket purchasers.

For example, DOT proposes to require airline to "offer" tickets to anonymous customers. But airlines would be allowed to make that offer, and the price of anonymity, as high as they like.

And if the airline somehow learns -- whether or not you tell them -- that you are desperate to get to your dying mother's bedside? The airline can make its "offer" as high as it likes.

The "settlement" between airlines and other travel companies leaves my objections on consumer protection grounds as the only remaining obstacle to DOT approval of this scheme.

Go to Regulations.gov to tell DOT that you oppose "IATA Resolution 787" and endorse my objections. You can submit comments to DOT through Wednesday, 11 June 2014.

Link | Posted by Edward on Friday, 30 May 2014, 19:52 ( 7:52 PM) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Objections to DOT approval of IATA's proposal (IATA Resolution 787) have also been filed by Asst. Prof. Ben Edelman of the Harvard Business School:

http://www.benedelman.org/airfare-advertising/pdf/edelman-to-dot-787-comments-06jun2014.pdf

Posted by: Edward Hasbrouck, 7 June 2014, 04:47 ( 4:47 AM)
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