Note: HomeAway, Airbnb and Flipkey recently joined Travel Tech and put the Short Term Rental Advocacy Center under the Travel Tech umbrella. The following article is relevant to the vacation rental industry as the DOT makes a precedent-setting decision on ancillary fess in online transactions.
Washington, D.C. – The Travel Technology Association, the trade association for innovators in travel distribution, joined a group of consumer and industry stakeholders today in leading a press briefing on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) on airline passenger protection and ancillary fees. The coalition of travel stakeholders, including consumer, travel agent, corporate and managed travel, and online travel distribution groups were all aligned in urging the DOT to act swiftly to require airlines to make ancillary fees transactable wherever consumers purchase airfare.
Excerpts from today’s call
“In a very literal sense our members make up the travel marketplace – we make travel happen. Not only helping millions around the globe search, compare, and book travel options, but as we see with our GDSs members actually serving as the backbone of travel — powering direct distribution for many of the airlines, providing the IT infrastructure for hotel partners, and offering the technology and data that allows OTAs and brick and mortar travel agents to do their work.”
“The ideas we’re discussing today, of transparency and transactability, are in the very DNA of Travel Tech.”
“With more than 50% of the airfares sold in the United States going through travel intermediaries, consumers rely heavily on our members to provide them with the ability to comparison-shop the ever expanding array of travel options.”
“Consumers have the fundamental right to know the upfront cost of their entire trip, and not be surprised at the airport with extra fees from the airlines. In the final analysis, we think it’s imperative and frankly way overdue that DOT takes action in this regard. It’s time for the DOT to require airlines to make ancillary services available to consumers when they purchase a ticket.”
“It’s imperative and frankly way overdue that the DOT takes action in this regard. It’s time. It’s time for the DOT to require airlines to make ancillary services available to consumers when they purchase a ticket.”
– Philip J. Minardi, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Travel Tech