Statement from Air Travel Fairness executive director Chris Grimm regarding the US Department of Transportation’s announcement of a new Aviation Consumer Protection Advisory Council and the appointment of representatives.
Washington, D.C. – November 19, 2018 – Statement from Air Travel Fairness executive director Chris Grimm regarding the US Department of Transportation’s announcement of a new Aviation Consumer Protection Advisory Council and the appointment of representatives.
“Air Travel Fairness, on behalf of more than 70,000 air travelers, strongly objects to the Department’s failure to appoint a representative with experience in advocating on behalf of air travelers. The law requires the appointment of a representative of “nonprofit public interest groups with expertise in consumer protection.” It should go without stating that the consumer protection representative Committee must have aviation consumer protection experience. Now the Department inexplicably has abandoned this position in favor of airline interests. Without a seat at the table for an air travel consumer advocate, the Committee will become a shill for the airlines.
“This is a critical time for air travel. With the consolidation of the industry, major airlines have more market power than ever. Some major airlines are exploiting that power to block online travel sites from displaying publicly available fare and schedule information. These restrictions are unfair and deceptive under current law, denying consumers the benefits of online comparison shopping and ultimately resulting in higher priced fares. This is a time the Department should be exercising its authority and enforcing the laws on the books to protect consumers, not cozying up with industry lobbyists.”
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