WASHINGTON, May 21, 2014 – Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, issued the following statement regarding the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Proposed Rulemaking:
Airlines strongly support full transparency, and already ensure that all pricing information is available as defined by the DOT’s previous consumer rule.
We believe this proposal overreaches and limits how free markets work and will have negative consequences. The government does not prescriptively tell other industries (hotels, computer makers, rental car companies) how they should sell their products, and we believe consumers are best served when the companies they do business with are able to tailor products and services to their customers. By proposing that airlines provide information on some ancillary options to a duopoly of Global Distribution System (GDS) providers, DOT’s rule likely would further increase airline expense, and force airlines to pass on the additional costs to customers in the form of higher fares or reduced levels of air service. Even the DOT’s cost-benefit analysis of this new proposed rule indicates that the costs outweigh the benefits.
The marketplace is already working, as several airlines have reached agreements with GDSs, and we ask that DOT put customers first and let the market work and not distort it with the unintended consequence of this proposed rule.