Possible Airfare Ruling Changes?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by JoeCortez, Jan 7, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. JoeCortez

    JoeCortez Silver Member

    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    243
    Status Points:
    375
    Most of the time, the "suggested stories" on my LinkedIn account are usually useless yammering about the price of hammers or something that I can't be bothered by. But today, a very interesting article came up by Christopher Elliot, titled "3 surprises lurking in your airfare — bet you don’t know what they are." The three surprises were all things I were (and I'm sure most of you) were all aware of - but what really caught my eye were the rule changes that the DOT were considering this year. Rules such as disclosing whose metal you're really on (actual airline, regional airline, or codeshare), disclosing the absolute best fare (not just the best fare for the seller), and disclosing ALL of the fees.

    I think the one that strikes me the most is disclosing the absolute best fair - not just the one the seller wants you to buy, or is being offered an incentive for you to purchase. From the article:

    I think this is primarily targeted to the OTAs, but could also have ramifications to the airlines as well.

    Are these rules needed? Will it affect how we travel later this year? Discuss!
     
  2. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,274
    Likes Received:
    2,287
    Status Points:
    1,270
    I can't wait. Next time I go into a Safeway they'll be a sign up: "These eggs are 19 cents cheaper at Krogers."

    I'm all for knowing whose metal we're flying but I think fees are already pretty well disclosed and disclosing the BEST fare seems like a real can of worms and not at all practical at first thought.
     
    LETTERBOY likes this.
  3. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,414
    Likes Received:
    3,574
    Status Points:
    2,025
    I do think that ALL fees should be included in the base fare, especially fuel surcharges, for use in comparing fares.
     
    violist and LETTERBOY like this.
  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,504
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
    All fees even if they are dependent on what "features" I choose? E.g. Bags or elite line or early boarding or ...? That would seem to defeat the "base" in base fare.

    I believe in the US it's already illegal to exclude mandatory charges like fuel surcharges in advertisements of fares.

    How are OTAs going to comply with "lowest fare anywhere" if the likes of WN don't let them display their fares? Will those be excluded?
     
  5. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,414
    Likes Received:
    3,574
    Status Points:
    2,025
    I don't think this means best fare across all airlines, it means best fare on that airline. In other words, the lowest fare on DL for DL flights, on AA for AA flights, etc.
     
  6. iolaire
    Original Member

    iolaire Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,510
    Likes Received:
    5,767
    Status Points:
    4,170
    The more I read about people not getting seated near their children, the more I expect some sort of regulation on that aspect. We might know that you should pay the $14/each for a "premium" seat so you can sit together, but parents are irate and that will flow up to the regulators/politicians.
     
  7. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,504
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
    Perhaps. I can't really tell from the article. But even then, would this include consolidator fares?

    In any case, I am really not sure what problem they are trying to solve here. Do the major OTAs often display higher than necessary fares? Do airlines really provide incentive compensation to OTAs? I thought their goal was to drive everyone to their own sites and they cut TA commissions down to zero years ago.

    Similarly, I don't really recall seeing any cases in recent years where it wasn't clear to me who the operating carrier was. Perhaps it's because I tend to use the same websites most of the time for my bookings, but code shares and express flights are quite easy to distinguish from mainline flights in my experience.
     
  8. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,414
    Likes Received:
    3,574
    Status Points:
    2,025
    I think you're missing the point. It's if I go to book a fare, and the web site shows me a fare matching the times, etc. I want, that they must ALSO have a link/note/indication if there is (or is not?) a lower fare available, perhaps at a different time.

    I think this is USUALLY the case (e.g. American's display/ability to sort by fare, or Southwest's display of WGA fares, etc.), but apparently not always.
     
  9. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,504
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
    The original doc seems to be

    http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201110&RIN=2105-AE11

    This rulemaking would address the following issues: (1) Whether the Department should require a marketing carrier to provide assistance to its code-share partner when a flight operated by the code-share partner experiences a lengthy tarmac delay; (2) whether the Department should enhance disclosure requirements on code-share operations, including requiring on-time performance data, reporting of certain data code-share operations, and codifying the statutory amendment of 49 U.S.C. 41712(c) regarding website schedule disclosure of code-share operations; (3) whether the Department should expand the on-time performance "reporting carrier" pool to include smaller carriers; (4) whether the Department should require travel agents to adopt minimum customer service standards in relation to the sale of air transportation; (5) whether the Department should require ticket agents to disclose the carriers whose tickets they sell or do not sell and information regarding any incentive payments they receive in connection with the sale of air transportation; (6) whether the Department should require ticket agents to disclose any preferential display of individual fares or carriers in the ticket agent's Internet displays; (7) whether the Department should require additional or special disclosures regarding certain substantial fees; e.g., oversize or overweight baggage fees; (8) whether the Department should prohibit post-purchase price increase for all services and products not purchased with the ticket or whether it is sufficient to prohibit post-purchase prices increases for baggage charges that traditionally have been included in the ticket price; and (9) whether the Department should require that ancillary fees be displayed through all sale channels.

    (bolding added) I don't see where there's anything about displaying cheaper fares or fares at different times.
     
    iolaire likes this.

Share This Page