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September 2022, Virtual
September 29 2022, Virtual
Unbundling and extra fees are causing travel buyers "serious problems", the Business Travel Coalition (BTC) told a US hearing on airline fees.
Kevin Mitchell, BTC's chairman, said 100% of corporate travel managers felt unbundling had disrupted their travel programmes.
A large majority (80%) had also said that without government rules, airlines would not make "fair, adequate and readily accessible disclosure of their add-on fees and charges so that travel managers and their TMCs can do comparison shopping of the all-in prices for air travel across carriers."
A vast number (95%) backed the US Department of Transportation requiring airlines to make add-on data available and easily accessible through GDS channels.
Mitchell said the travel industry was not generally in favour of government intervention but it could see a "market failure" looming.
Mitchell was speaking to the House of Representatives aviation subcommittee which is looking into airline charges.
He said the hearing was "critically important because of the potential for consumer abuse in this fast changing, unbundled marketplace for airline services."
He said the BTC did not oppose the concept of unbundling - where airlines charges extra fees on top of the fare for items like luggage or food onboard - but was against the "absence of full disclosure of all add-on fees and charges such that all consumers cannot make genuine, apples-to-apples comparisons of all-in airline fares."