Alexandria, Va. — On July 31, ASTA submitted a draft complaint to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) alleging that American Airlines’ (AA) implementation of New Distribution Capability (NDC) technology beginning last April constitutes an unfair trade practice warranting immediate action by DOT.
The filing alleges that AA has caused significant economic and non-economic injury to consumers, travel agencies and travel management companies (TMCs) when, among other things, it removed 40 percent of its fare inventory from the established EDIFACT distribution channel. That action has resulted in substantially higher air ticket prices for consumers and frustrated TMCs and their clients in fulfilling the duty of care owed to business travelers.
ASTA urges DOT to exercise its statutory authority to enjoin AA from continuing this practice, to restore access to all fares in all channels and to undertake a comprehensive review of the current state of competition in the domestic airline industry.
The complaint follows several private discussions between ASTA and representatives of both AA and, later, DOT. Joining ASTA in the filing were the Business Travel Association (U.K.) and FOLATUR. A copy of the complaint can be accessed here.
ASTA expects further engagement with DOT on this issue soon and will keep its members updated on developments as they occur.