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