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DOT Proposal Increases Transparency on Fees, Adds New Burdens for Advisors

American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) Executive Vice President, Advocacy, Eben Peck, releases the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) proposal on airline ancillary fees: 

"ASTA has long believed that consumers deserve full transparency in airfares and optional ancillary service fees, as well as the ability to buy those services (‘transactability’), regardless of the channel in which they elect to book their travel. Viewed through that lens, the DOT’s proposal is a step in the right direction in that it requires airlines to provide travel agencies with ancillary fee information that is ‘usable, accurate and accessible in realtime’ and mandates transactability for some fees (those that enable family seating). 

"That said, ASTA has serious concerns about the effect the requirement to disclose multiple fees in each and every ‘offline’ transaction (over-the-phone and face-to-face) – even to repeat customers and frequent fliers – will have on agency operations. In its last proposed rulemaking on this topic in 2017, it mandated these disclosures only upon the customer’s request. It should do so again here. 

"As with the Department’s separate proposal on airline refunds, we will consult with ASTA members and allied organizations, file comments and otherwise work around the clock to protect the interests of our members and their clients."

 

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ABOUT ASTA
Rebranded in 2018 as the American Society of Travel Advisors, ASTA is the leading global advocate for travel advisors, the travel industry and the traveling public. Its members represent 80 percent of all travel sold in the United States through the travel agency distribution channel. Together with hundreds of internationally-based members, ASTA’s history of industry advocacy traces back to its founding in 1931 when it launched with the mission to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. For more information about the Society, visit our mission statement.  

 

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