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Statement: Senate Bill Mandating New Requirements on Ticket Agents is Unnecessary and Would Do Little to Help Consumers


Travel Tech on July 10, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 10, 2018

Contact: 
Mallory Barrasso | mbarrasso@traveltech.org

Senate Bill Mandating New Requirements on Ticket Agents is Unnecessary and Would Do Little to Help Consumers


Arlington, VA
 – Travel Tech President Steve Shur issued the below statement following the introduction of the Air Travel Ticketing Transparency and Protection Act in the U.S. Senate, a bill which places new and unwarranted requirements on ticket agents (including online ticket agents, metasearch sites, travel management companies and large travel agencies):

“It is clear the American public relies on the convenience of shopping across multiple travel brands in a single place, via ticket agents, as they continue to trust Travel Tech members with their vacation and business travel itineraries.  Simply stated, there is no record of consumer harm or customer service deficiency between ticket agents and travelers.  This new bill is unnecessary and would cause consumers more harm, not less. 

“Transparency in the travel marketplace is crucial.  However, without airline cooperation in the implementation of travel agency customer service standards – which is not mandated by the bill – agents cannot fulfill requirements, such as providing prompt refunds, 24-hour holds or opportunities to cancel without penalty.  While this legislation makes minor changes to what was originally proposed on this topic in the pending Senate FAA bill, it still does not guarantee that ticket agents will have the ability to comply with these requirements without airline cooperation.

“Travel Tech will continue to work with Congress and the Department of Transportation to create a reasonable and practical approach to customer service standards in order to ensure that our members can continue to maintain a vibrant, independent, consumer-focused marketplace where travelers can compare and shop for a wide variety of flights in one place.”

The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) is the voice of the travel technology industry, advocating for public policy that promotes transparency and competition in the marketplace to encourage innovation and preserve consumer choice. We represent the leading innovators in travel technology, including global distribution systems, online travel agencies and metasearch companies, and short-term rental platforms.


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