Air Travel Fairness announced Chris Grimm is taking the reins from Kurt Ebenhoch, who had served as executive director from the coalition’s founding in July 2017 until September 2018.
Washington, D.C. – November 14, 2018 – Air Travel Fairness, an advocacy coalition representing more than 70,000 travelers and online travel companies, today announced Chris Grimm as its new executive director. Grimm is taking the reins from Kurt Ebenhoch, who had served as executive director from the coalition’s founding in July 2017 until September 2018.
“It has been an honor to work toward greater fairness for the flying public and elevate awareness of the challenges, confusion and lack of transparency that travelers face,” said Ebenhoch. “I am proud of the work Air Travel Fairness has done to defend consumers at a time when the largest airlines are making it more difficult than ever for consumers to easily compare airfare, schedule and carrier options. I’m confident Chris will continue to shine light on anti-consumer behavior at a time when the future of easy comparison shopping, and the savings it generates for travelers, is at risk.”
Grimm has more than a decade of experience in both state and federal issues campaigns and public relations. He is a former senior strategist with two large law and public policy firms, where he led multi-state public policy campaigns and served as executive director for consumer-focused groups in the internet and entertainment fields.
“I am excited to serve as executive director of Air Travel Fairness and continue the work Kurt did to bring transparency to the travel and tourism industry,” Grimm added. “Booking travel has come a long way in the 21st century, but transparency and consumer choice remain in the hands of an oligopoly of legacy air carriers that oppose innovation and seek to control the consumer experience through disintermediation. Consumers’ ability to quickly and easily compare prices online between competing travel options faces a major, growing threat. Travel companies are harnessing the power of technology to provide consumers with an enhanced experience that promotes expanded choice, lower prices, enhanced transparency, and ease in booking. Air Travel Fairness will continue to fight for travelers to ensure consumers benefit from technology and to fight against anticompetitive practices directed against them.”
The new leadership comes at a critical time for air travelers. Initial versions of the recently passed Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization would have given airlines the power to make comparison-shopping for airfare online impossible. While Congress ultimately rejected the provision, nothing in the bill prevents airlines from continuing to use their near monopoly power to block third-party websites from displaying publically available data on fares and fees.
“It is past time for Congress and the administration to address what the airlines are doing and restore consumers’ right to compare fares, fees, and travel opportunities quickly and easily online while promoting competition in the airline industry,” Grimm said.
Air Travel Fairness (ATF) is a coalition representing more than 70,000 travelers and online travel companies. ATF supports competition, consumer choice and airfare pricing transparency, and is endorsed by leading consumer, business and travel trade advocacy organizations including the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), the Business Travel Coalition (BTC), Travelers United and the Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech).
Contact: Chris Grimm – firstname.lastname@example.org