Published: March 2020

It’s time to regulate airline distribution and display practices

Coalition: Travel Fairness Now

On the three-year anniversary of the suspension of the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) request for information (RFI) on "Exploring Industry Practices on Distribution and Display of Airline Fare, Schedule and Availability Information," coalition advocate groups sent a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao calling for the RFI's reinstatement. Advocates are concerned that the extended pause is harming consumers by limiting their ability to see all airline, flight, fare and fee options and shop in a transparent, convenient and efficient way. It’s time for the DOT to release a final regulation of the matter and ensure consumers are treated fairly in the air-travel marketplace.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) suspended its request for information on airline industry practices, fares, and schedules three years ago. The decision came after DOT received nearly 60,000 comments that were in support of a transparent shopping experience in which the airlines are required to make complete and accurate airline purchasing information available for convenient access by consumers on all shopping platforms. According to the DOT's announcement on March 10, 2017, the suspension of the RFI comment period was to "allow the President's appointees the opportunity to review and consider this action."

Anyone who has flown recently knows airline carriers are engaging in anti-competitive, anti-consumer behavior. The airline industry has been highly profitable and consolidated in a way never seen before, with fewer competing carriers and choices for consumers and record revenues generated from add-on fees that continue to increase, undisciplined by meaningful competition. By failing to make a final rule on the matter of industry practices and pricing, the Department of Transportation is shrinking its responsibility to the flying public.

Other Organizations

Business Travel Coalition | Consumer Action | Consumer Federation of America | Consumer Reports | National Consumers League | Travel Fairness Now

More Information

For more information, please visit Travel Fairness Now.

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It’s time to regulate airline distribution and display practices   (ConsumerGroupLetterDOT_.pdf)




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