Published on : Tuesday, January 21, 2014
“Since a consumer using the Internet on her own may not discover the discrepancy, it is
especially important that travel agents remain vigilant about these price discrepancies and act to protect their clients from overpaying,” said Zane Kerby, ASTA President & Chief Operating Officer.
In the new code-share deal between the two airlines, the price of code-share flights varies by
more than double, according to ASTA.
The announcement from ASTA comes after Aash Shravah, director of corporate sales and corporate services for Montrose Travel, revealed some high-priced, hands-on results of the
codeshares on Montrose’s Corporate Travel Insider site.
Shravah pointed out that American’s recent announcement of 50 per cent bonus miles for
booking U.S. Airways flights as a deceptive practice. When you book the U.S. Airways flight on American’s website, you end up paying more than twice as much.
His research pointed to one flight between Boston and New York LaGuardia as a key example.
The Jan. 29 flight was listed on American’s website as a $232 flight while listed on U.S.
Airways’ site as a $99 flight.
These disparities are in addition to the mandatory disclosures of code-shares required by the
Department of Transportation regulations, which was addressed by ASTA in a member alert on Jan. 14.
In one of the reports ASTA responded to, an unnamed American spokesperson who said the
price discrepancies will stop when the carriers adopt “common technology platforms”. There
is no current information on when that may happen. The technology integrations of other
large merging airlines have often been plagued with problems, so this issue may last a while,
according to ASTA.
Kerby pointed to the development as yet another reason why working with travel agents can save travellers from overpaying unknowingly.
“The evidence continues to grow that in our ever-more complex marketplace, having a guide
and mentor, someone to watch your back, is essential,” Kerby said. “This incident makes it even clearer that ‘Without a Travel Agent, You’re on Your Own.’”
ASTA members represent more than 80 per cent of all travel sold in the United States.
American responded by saying that the company is working to correct any issues as quickly as possible and that it is an unfortunate result of two companies working to meld their technology while still trying to operate daily.
Tags: ASTA News