23 September 2010

Lies, Damn Lies and then there are Fees...

I think we all know what it is like to be lied to. Politicians lie. Pressure groups lie. Advertisements lie.

So it is somewhat bad that respectable organizations such as ASTA align themselves with other organisms that are not telling the truth.

So here is the headline from BTC:


Consumer and Travel Groups Deliver Petition Signatures to DOT on “Mad As Hell Day!” in Support of Secretary LaHood’s Efforts to Require Airline Fee Transparency.

Er... excuse me that is actually a lie.

As I noted yesterday the issue of airline fees is but a small part of a far broader rule making input that the DoT is requesting. Further transparency of airline fees is no better - but definitely no worse than the issue of say special fee conditions that a travel agency has to live with.

While I don't personally like fees - they are here to stay. I am one of the 50,000 people who signed the petition but I was very clear that I was signing the petition for a reason to state that I supported the right of the airlines to charge the fees.

Further I also made it clear in both my submission to BTC and the coalition as well as the DoT itself that the mechanism of making the airline fees "transparent" as advocated by the Coalition was itself highly misguided. IE that making the fees transparent via the GDS channel would create a burden on everyone that was unnecessary. IE the airlines would have to do extra work and the agencies would have to do extra work and the consumer would not be any better off.

Forcing such a process would make every airline rule and regulation required in each GDS. Something that is a backward step - 15 years ago before the internet became so important to our society - yes. Today no.

So I do hope that some people will stop with the misrepresentation and the lies. Also the coalition should stop hiding its intentions and be very clear that it is against fees. Wait... isn't that what it says? Mad as hell about airline fees...

Read the fine print my friends and then decide if you want the government deep in regulating the distribution of airline products. Heck why not re-regulate the industry and re-award mail contracts.

.... BASTA as the retiring DG of IATA says. Let's not waste the government's time for something that is already more than adequately in place.

I really do wish the coalition would stop rubbishing the hard work that agents on the line do. But then I guess the real little people don't matter when you are trying to get media attention.


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