Open Allies Applauds GBTA Leadership's Call for Ancillary Fee Transparency
Travel industry support grows for restoring airline product transparency and one-stop comparison shopping
BOSTON, July 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In a keynote speech delivered at the Global Business Travel Association's (GBTA) 2012 annual convention in Boston, GBTA Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Michael W. McCormick strongly endorsed the need for full transparency and purchasability of airlines ancillary services and related fees:
". . . GBTA fully supports the free-market right of businesses to create and follow their own chosen business models, including charging ancillary fees. But travel professionals must be presented with an accurate view of the full cost of products. To that end, it is imperative that there is full transparency to buyers on fares and fees. This also applies to booking, ticketing, billing, and fulfilling those services."
"Open Allies for Airfare Transparency (Open Allies) deeply appreciates the support of such an important travel industry organization on one of the most important issues facing the managed-travel community and traveling public," said Kevin Mitchell, Chairman of Business Travel Coalition, a founding Open Allies member. "The loss since 2008 of transparency and purchasability of airline ancillary services and associated fees is incredibly frustrating for travel professionals looking to compare the all-in price of air travel options for customers. This is especially true as the Amadeus Review of Ancillary Revenue report, released today, shows that the airlines ancillary fee revenue has jumped 66-percent since 2009. GBTA's endorsement of greater fee transparency is yet another example of why the U.S. Department of Transportation needs to issue a new rule to address this critical issue."
"While the DOT has taken important steps toward improved fee transparency for consumers, we need fee data in real time, not on a static page," said Charlie Leocha, Director of the Consumer Travel Alliance. "GBTA's endorsement of greater fee transparency and purchasability is yet another example of why DOT needs to proceed with a rule that ensures efficient comparison shopping across airlines for the all-in price of a ticket at any point of sale used by airlines, managed-travel programs and consumers."
With virtually 100 percent of airline tickets procured by major corporations through Travel Management Companies, or Certified Travel Departments, full disclosure and purchasability of ancillary services in real time is a bedrock requirement for an effectively managed corporate travel program. The nearly 400 members of Open Allies believe that it is a reasonable request that airlines' very best customers be enabled through their preferred distribution channel to purchase airline tickets and ancillary services based on clear, complete and actionable information.
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