Federal Advisory Committee Lacks Ticket Agent Representative

The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) submitted supplemental comments regarding the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) proposed “Enhancing Transparency of Airline Ancillary Service Fees” rulemaking. In these comments, Travel Tech provided its response to the recommendations made by the Aviation Consumer Protection Advisory Committee and recent survey findings cited by Laura Chadwick, Travel Tech President & CEO, during the Department’s recent hearing on the proposed rule.

In its supplemental filing, Travel Tech responded to ACPAC’s recommendations regarding the DOT’s proposed rules on ancillary fees; GDS access to ancillary fee information; change and cancellation rules; data sharing; and proposed compliance timeline. You can read Travel Tech’s supplemental filing here.

“Travel Tech welcomes every opportunity to share our knowledge about empowering traveler choice in written comments, presentations, meetings, testifying, and beyond,” said Chadwick. “Our member companies are the foremost experts in supporting millions of consumers every year in their travel planning. The input we provide is not only effective but technically feasible too. It will lead to better travel experiences for all.”

The DOT’s Aviation Consumer Protection Advisory Committee (“ACPAC”) convened on January 12, 2023, to make recommendations on the Department’s “Enhancing Transparency of Airline Ancillary Service Fees” rulemaking. Membership of ACPAC is limited by law to four representatives: an air carrier representative; an airport operator; a law enforcement officer; and a consumer advocate.

Travel Tech continues to advocate that a Ticket Agent representative be added to the membership of ACPAC. Doing so will expand the advisory committee’s industry knowledge base and improve the quality of its recommendations. In a recent white paper on its 2023 FAA Reauthorization priorities, Travel Tech advocates that Congress amend the law governing ACPAC membership.

“New ideas and perspectives are needed right now to improve airline travel for consumers. Ticket agents, which include online ticket agents and metasearch engines represented by Travel Tech, can offer ACPAC deep technical expertise and long-standing commitment to innovation,” said Chadwick.

About Travel Tech

The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) empowers traveler choice by advocating for public policy that promotes marketplace transparency and competition. Travel Tech represents the leading innovators in travel technology, including global distribution systems, online travel agencies, metasearch companies, travel management companies, and short-term rental platforms.

To schedule an interview with a Travel Tech spokesperson, contact Dan Rene of kglobal at 202-329-8357 or daniel.rene@kglobal.com

Advocates for Ancillary Fee Website Display Flexibility 

[Arlington, VA] [April 4, 2023] – Laura Chadwick, President & CEO of the Travel TechnologyAssociation (Travel Tech), the voice of the travel technology industry and consistent advocate for public policy that empowers traveler choice, testified at a recent U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) hearing on its proposed “Enhancing Transparency of Airline Ancillary Service Fees” regulation alongside expert leaders from member companies Amadeus, Priceline (as part of Booking Holdings), and Skyscanner. 

The hearing, separately petitioned for by both Travel Tech and Airlines for America, focused entirely on the proposed rule’s requirement that critical ancillary fees must be shown on the first page of search results alongside fare and schedule information. Today, additional optional services, including checked bags, specific seat selection, and carry-on bags, are presented to consumers early in the flight search process. 

Read Travel Tech CEO Chadwick’s DOT Hearing Testimony 

“Travel Tech firmly believes that our member companies are best positioned to innovate and determine how ancillary fee information should be presented to consumers,” stated Chadwick. “In addition to our written comments and those of our members, we pursued this hearing because we are concerned about the deep impact this proposed first-page search results requirement would have on consumers. This is especially true for those shopping on travel comparison sites that display hundreds of flight combinations across a multitude of different airlines.” 

In its rationale for the proposed first-page search results requirement, the DOT cited that “because most passengers travel once per year or less, they may not be aware of certain ancillary service fees, such as those related to seat selection.” However, in an online survey commissioned by Travel Tech of over 1,000 U.S. American adult consumers from March 24-26, it was found that:  

Chadwick, in her testimony, observed that, “Consumers know that critical ancillary fees are now a part of travel – they expect these fees and know that they are optional services and not required. There are no surprises here. As such, there is no need to overload the first-page search results with the extra information this rule would require.” 

Hearing witnesses from Travel Tech member companies Amadeus, Priceline (as part of Booking Holdings), and Skyscanner shared their expertise with the DOT, testifying to the technical infeasibility of the proposed first-page search results requirement. Their testimony, along with other witnesses, can be accessed here.

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About Travel Tech 

The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) empowers traveler choice by advocating for public policy that promotes marketplace transparency and competition. Travel Tech represents the leading innovators in travel technology, including global distribution systems, online travel agencies, metasearch companies, travel management companies, and short-term rental platforms. 
 

To schedule an interview with a Travel Tech spokesperson, contact Dan Rene of kglobal at 202-329-8357 or daniel.rene@kglobal.com. 

Testimony of Laura Chadwick, President, and CEO Travel Tech

March 30, 2023 – Public Hearing – U.S. Department of Transportation’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Enhancing Transparency of Airline Ancillary Service Fees

TOPIC 1

Whether Consumers Are or Are Likely To Be Substantially Injured or Misled by Airlines’ Current Disclosures of Ancillary Service Fees

I am Laura Chadwick, president and CEO of the Travel Technology Association, also known as “Travel Tech.” Our mission is to empower traveler choice. To do so, we bring together travel innovators to promote transparency and competition through education and advocacy. Our members include online ticket agents, metasearch engines, global distribution systems, travel management companies, and short-term rental platforms. I am proud to be a witness today alongside member companies Priceline, as part of Booking Holdings, Skyscanner, and Amadeus.

Thank you to the Department for granting Travel Tech’s petition for this hearing to discuss the proposed “Enhancing Transparency of Airline Ancillary Service Fees” rule, specifically regarding its requirement that critical ancillary fees must be shown on the first page of search results. We took this extra step of filing this hearing petition because we strongly hold that Travel Tech member companies are best positioned to determine how ancillary fee information should be presented to consumers. You will hear from three experts from Travel Tech member companies later today who testify to the intense efforts that their companies pursue to serve the needs of their consumers.

Travel Tech, as it did in 2014, supports this rulemaking. Advocating for transparency for consumers is who we are and what we do. It’s in our member companies’ DNA – transparency was a driving force behind the founding of their companies years ago to support consumers.

But before we can address issues relating to how critical ancillary fees can and should be presented to consumers, we must discuss the critical ancillary fee data itself. This is so important because the transparency of ancillary fee data is impossible without permanent access to the data in the first place.

Travel Tech and our member companies strongly agree with the Department’s finding that consumers are or are likely to be substantially injured or misled by airlines’ current disclosure of ancillary service fees. And we likewise agree with the DOT’s proposed requirement that critical ancillary fee data must be provided by airlines. It is indeed unfair and deceptive that consumers purchasing their tickets through the indirect channel do not have guaranteed access to critical ancillary fee information. Ticket agents, however, cannot provide to consumers what ticket agents do not themselves have – that is, the fee data itself.

Now, to whom critical ancillary fee data is provided is a different story. As we extensively detail in Travel Tech’s written comments, we strongly believe the Department must alter its proposed rule and require airlines to provide critical ancillary fee data to all intermediaries the airlines use to distribute their schedule and fare information. This includes providing the ancillary fee data to global distribution systems.

Travel agents of all sizes greatly rely on Global Distribution Systems to provide schedule and fare information from across the 400 airlines operating around the world. It’s hard to overstate how essential GDSs are in facilitating comparison shopping on Travel Tech members’ consumer-facing sites.

Allowing airlines to skip over GDSs and provide the ancillary fee data directly to ticket agents – as the proposed rule currently states – will have a tremendous impact on a ticket agent’s ability not only to digest but also then display critical ancillary fee information, much less so on the first page of search results. Ticket agents today have no existing infrastructure whatsoever to match ancillary fee data with the schedule and fare data provided to them by the GDSs. It will take years of work and massive investments to build these duplicative capabilities and not the six months that the Department has proposed. The years of work needed to make this happen will greatly delay the achievement of the overall goal of this rulemaking: providing transparency of critical ancillary fees to consumers.

Witnesses from Travel Tech members will highlight how difficult displaying critical ancillary fees would be without the involvement of GDSs in addition to their technical expertise about the Department’s proposed first-page search results requirement.

Thank you.

TOPIC 2

Whether Disclosures of Itinerary-Specific Ancillary Fees at the Time of First Search Will Result in the Display of Incomplete or Inapplicable Ancillary Fee Information, Cause Consumer Confusion, and Distort the Marketplace

Thank you again to the Department for granting this hearing and for the opportunity to speak today.

Travel Tech, in its written comments and in our hearing petition, expressed its deep concerns about the Department’s proposed first-page search results requirement. As I stated earlier, we took this extra step of filing a hearing petition because we strongly hold that Travel Tech member companies are best positioned to determine how ancillary fee information should be presented to consumers.

This proposed rule would mandate that carry-on and checked baggage fees, change and cancellation fees, and family seating fees be shown in text only on the first page of search results. It would specifically ban the use of rollovers or web links. This provision would apply to both airline and ticket agent sites.

You will hear from true experts on flight search display from Travel Tech members today. They will provide great detail about the technical infeasibility of this provision. They will also speak directly to the deep impact it would have on consumers, especially those shopping on travel comparison sites that display hundreds of flight combinations across a multitude of different airlines.

I want to take a moment to highlight the other organizations – beyond Travel Tech and the airlines – that submitted comments on this proposed rule and what they said about this first-page search results provision.

The US Chamber of Commerce wrote, “…Without the ability to display fee information via pop-ups or roll-overs, the strict and prescriptive display requirements required under the NPRM would have the effect of bombarding consumers with irrelevant fee and fare information on a single webpage, making ticket agent webpages difficult to navigate and cluttered.”

US Travel stated, “Additionally, more and more consumers are utilizing mobile devices rather than web browsers to make travel plans. Increasing the amount of required information to be shared during the purchase process on smaller screens will lead to an inferior user experience, increased consumer frustration and the type of information overload that diminishes consumer interest and comprehension.”

The Global Business Travel Association is “concerned by the sheer volume of proposed ancillary fee information on the first page creating confusion for travelers. The requirement to include all information on the first page may actually have a negative effect, as screen real estate is consumed by ancillary fee information, reducing the number of available flights able to be displayed in a single webpage, and requiring substantially more search time to compare options.”

And even the AARP submitted comments and wrote, “However, without additional guidance, there is the potential that displaying all fees in the same place as the fare could be visually overwhelming for some consumers, adding confusion rather than reducing it.”

And there are further comments noting concern about the first-page search results beyond what I have now presented. Today, Travel Tech is submitting a letter signed by US Travel, the US Chamber, the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), Hopper, and Sabre to the docket to demonstrate in one document the many stakeholders who take issue with this part of the proposed rule.

The rationale of this first-page search results requirement – as described in the NPRM’s “Need for a Rulemaking” section – was quote “because most passengers travel once per year or less, they may not be aware of certain ancillary service fees, such as those related to seat selection.” According to the Department and per consumer advocates, consumers continue to be surprised by these optional services, and therefore, all critical ancillary fees must be shown on the first page of search results along with schedule and fare information.

We at Travel Tech were “curious, not judgmental” about this conclusion and wanted to hear directly from consumers about what they knew about ancillary fees and their understanding of optional services, like checking bags or selecting a seat.

To do so, Travel Tech fielded an online survey of over 1,000 U.S. adult consumers from March 24-26, a few days ago. The topline results that I will now share were weighted to be representative of the overall population.

These results are clear evidence – even though they may travel once a year or less – that consumers are incredibly aware of the existence of critical ancillary fees. Not too many consumer surveys reach numbers of 96% awareness. Consumers know that critical ancillary fees are now a part of travel – they expect these fees and know that they are optional services and not required. There are no surprises here. As such, there is no need to overload the first-page search results with the extra information this rule would require.

TOPIC 3

Whether Disclosures of Itinerary-Specific Ancillary Fees at the Time of First Search Will Result in the Display of Incomplete or Inapplicable Ancillary Fee Information, Cause Consumer Confusion, and Distort the Marketplace

Thank you again to the Department for granting Travel Tech’s hearing petition and for the opportunity to speak today. I have greatly enjoyed hearing from all of the witnesses on this matter of first-page search results. We greatly appreciate references and call-outs from other companies and organizations about how much more difficult this proposed provision would hit the independent channel, which shows consumers fares from a multitude of different carriers all at once.

I appreciate Andrew Applebaum’s observations about Expedia’s website. We are glad that you are pleased with how ancillary fee information is presented today. However, if you are pleased today, then I must ask why do we need this first page search results provision?

I also wanted to address John Breyault’s testimony regarding Travel Tech’s petition. He says that we could ask for consumer data at the search input screen. This is not what the proposed rule would require. Further, this proposed change from the proposed rule would face the same exact technical infeasibility issues that the first-page results do, which you will hear about in great detail from the witnesses from Travel Tech member companies.

Right before lunch, we heard from Corey Vezna of Priceline, and prior to that Jay Richmond from Amadeus and Katie Hinchin of Skyscanner. And we are pleased to hear Jay and Corey speak once more today on question 3. But all three of these experts in flight search from Travel Tech members have already touched on the technical infeasibility of the proposed first-page search results requirements and its negative impact on consumers.

I wanted to quickly take an opportunity to share thoughts from another Travel Tech member company who were unable to join us at this hearing today.

Glenn Wallace, head of product of technology at Fareportal, and previously a founding employee at Expedia, told me that, “The pricing permutations of flight schedule, fare type/cabin, and specific seats are huge, and requiring that all options and therefore all combinations are shown at the first page will place a huge computing and communication burden on industry systems, and lead to slower page retrieval times, larger web pages, and materially slower page loading times.”

Thank you again.

Travel Tech president and CEO Laura Chadwick testified at the DOT’s Public Hearing today on Airline Ticket Refunds and Consumer Protections. Her remarks are below:

Thank you for the opportunity to speak today on the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on “Airline Ticket Refunds and Consumer Protections.”

My name is Laura Chadwick and I lead 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. Travel Tech represents the leading innovators in travel technology, including global distribution systems, online travel agencies and metasearch companies, travel management companies, and short-term rental platforms.

As we wrote in our comments, Travel Tech welcomes the Department’s decision to define what constitutes a ‘canceled flight’ and ‘significant change to flight itinerary.’ These definitions will bring much-needed uniformity and clarity to what have been fraught and stressful experiences for travelers facing weather or airline staffing issues. Great customer service, whether before, during, or after a trip, is key to the value Travel Tech members offer. These definitions will help online travel agents better support their customers in navigating frustrating flight cancellations and the labyrinth of airline customer service systems.

With regard to the question at hand — how to determine whether a downgrade of amenities or travel experiences qualifies as a “significant change of flight itinerary,” I must note that Travel Tech did not in its comments address this particular point. We are, however, and as I noted previously, very supportive of the DOT’s efforts to provide uniformity and clarity over what triggers a refund. This helps ticket agents help their customers. That being said, we do find merit in the issues raised by the airlines in their comments and at this hearing over the inherent difficulty in determining whether a downgrade of amenities or travel experiences constitutes a “significant change of flight itinerary.”

Ticket agents rely on the airlines to make refunds or credit determinations. Ticket agents, in essence, enforce airlines’ decisions on these matters. As such, confusion over what a downgrade of amenities or travel experiences qualifies as a “significant change of flight itinerary” by airlines will likewise create confusion for ticket agents in explaining these determinations to customers.

I do also want to take a moment to address Travel Tech’s concerns about the change included in the proposed rule regarding the timing of refunds to customers by ticket agents. In its draft rule, the Department proposes that customers receive refunds within seven days. However, it takes up to eleven days for ticket agents to secure refunds from airlines’ payment and refund systems.

To require refunds before the funds are returned by the airline – as the proposed rule currently demands – would impose an undue financial burden and risk on ticket agents. We encourage the Department to revise this part of its proposal to reflect that airlines’ payment and refund systems are beyond the control of ticket agents.

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About Travel Tech

The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) empowers traveler choice by advocating for public policy promoting marketplace transparency and competition. Travel Tech represents the leading innovators in travel technology, including global distribution systems, online travel agencies, metasearch companies, travel management companies, and short-term rental platforms.

To schedule an interview with a Travel Tech spokesperson, contact Dan Rene of kglobal at 202-329-8357 or daniel.rene@kglobal.com.

Urges Legislators to Work With Industry Before Establishing Regulations   

The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) filed comments on legislation currently under consideration in New York that would further regulate short-term rentals by creating a registration system and increasing taxes on rentals. The comments shared by Travel Tech describe several problems proposed bill S. 885 creates that must be addressed. 

The filing points out that S.885 is inconsistent with several state and federal laws that regulate rental listings including the Communications Decency Act, and the Stored Communications Act.  

The filing also illustrates how other states have instituted registration systems that provide value to municipalities without placing an unnecessary burden on homeowners or rental platforms. 

“We are eager to work with you to create a legal framework for short-term rentals in New York State that balances the interests of municipalities, communities, and homeowners; however, several legal and practical problems with S. 885 require urgent attention,” Laura Chadwick, President and CEO of Travel Tech, wrote in the comments. “We urge you to continue to consult with our members and other stakeholders before establishing any new short-term rental registration system and regulatory regime.” 

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About Travel Tech 

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. Travel Tech represents the leading innovators in travel technology, including global distribution systems, online travel agencies, and metasearch companies, travel management companies, and short-term rental platforms. 

To schedule an interview with a Travel Tech spokesperson, contact Dan Rene of kglobal at 202-329-8357 or daniel.rene@kglobal.com. 

White Paper Submitted to House Transportation & Infrastructure  and Senate Commerce Committees

The Travel TechnologyAssociation (Travel Tech), the voice of the travel technology industry and consistent advocate for public policy that supports a competitive and transparent marketplace, released its priorities for the upcoming Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization by Congress. The priority list and related justification for the recommendations are contained in a white paper submitted to the U.S. Senate’s Commerce Committee and U.S. House of Representatives’ Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.

“The upcoming reauthorization of the FAA gives Congress a very timely opportunity to improve air travel for their constituents. Travel Tech members provide air travel booking services for millions of consumers each year,” said Laura Chadwick, President and CEO of the Travel Technology Association. “Our priorities for the reauthorization — ensuring ticket agents are a part of the US Department of Transportation’s consumer protection efforts, providing travelers with ancillary fee information early in the booking process and making timely refunds — are  aligned with Congressional efforts.”

Specific Travel Tech priorities include:

  1. Congress should amend the law to add a ticket agent representative to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Airline Consumer Protection Advisory Committee (ACPAC) to expand its industry knowledge base and improve the quality of its recommendations, ultimately benefiting consumers.
  2. Congress should allow ticket agents and airlines to have the flexibility to design appropriate displays of ancillary fees, which will allow for the development of more innovative methods of transparency for consumers.
  3. Congress should provide guidance to the U.S. Department of Transportation that all entities that airlines use to distribute their faresshould receive ancillary fee information to provide consumers with the quickest, most direct solution to ancillary fee transparency.
  4. Congress should continue to recognize the distinction between corporate travel agents and other types of ticket agents and again provide guidance to U.S. Department of Transportation that corporate travel agents should be exempted from the proposed rule.
  5. Congress should affirm the U.S. Department of Transportation’s current policy on refund timing and advise the Department to abandon its proposed new policy.
  6. Congress should support consumers by allowing ticket agents the flexibility to offer the purchase of ancillary fee-based services on their sites.
  7. Congress should be aware that customer complaints against ticket agents continue to be a fraction of those filed against airlines, active rulemakings are already addressing customer service market failures, and a competitive, independent marketplace of ticket agents continues to provide consumers with a multitude of options to seek better customer service practices.

Read the White Paper.


About Travel Tech

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. Travel Tech represents the leading innovators in travel technology, including global distribution systems, online travel agencies and metasearch companies, travel management companies, and short-term rental platforms.

To schedule an interview with a Travel Tech spokesperson, contact Dan Rene of kglobal at 202-329-8357 or daniel.rene@kglobal.com.

Any Future Regulations Should Apply Equally to All Entities Supplying Travel Pricing Information

[Arlington, VA] [February 8, 2023] – The Travel TechnologyAssociation (Travel Tech), the voice of the travel technology industry and consistent advocate for public policy that supports a competitive and transparent marketplace, filed comments today in response to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) seeking comments on the “prevalence of fee practices that may be unfair or deceptive acts or practices,” (Commission Matter No. R207011).

Read the comments here.

“Travel Tech members are steadfast advocates for transparency. It is core to their business models and the services they provide to consumers,” stated Laura Chadwick, President & CEO of the Travel Technology Association. “Across all aspects of travel planning, transparency allows travelers to compare options, make informed choices, and receive the best value.”

In its comments, Travel Tech details how its members provide travelers with all information provided to them by accommodation suppliers so consumers are aware of the resort fees that will be assessed on-site.

Travel Tech’s comments also address how ambiguous or overly narrow rules potentially adopted by the FTC may impact the online travel marketplace.

“Any regulation in this area must apply equally to all entities advertising travel pricing information to consumers both online and offline. Without a level playing field, it could distort the online marketplace for travel, and lead to more consumer frustration, and not less.”

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About Travel Tech

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. Travel Tech represents the leading innovators in travel technology, including global distribution systems, online travel agencies and metasearch companies, travel management companies, and short-term rental platforms.

To schedule an interview with a Travel Tech spokesperson, contact Dan Rene of kglobal at 202-329-8357 or daniel.rene@kglobal.com.

The Travel TechnologyAssociation (Travel Tech), the voice of the travel technology industry and consistent advocate for public policy that supports a competitive and transparent marketplace, filed comments today in response to the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on “Enhancing Transparency of Airline Ancillary Service Fees” (DOT-OST-2022-0109).

“Travel Tech has long supported the U.S. Department of Transportation’s efforts to ensure consumers have access to critical ancillary fee information. We did so in 2014 and are doing so again in 2023,” stated Laura Chadwick, President & CEO of the Travel Technology Association. “For too long, consumers have lacked the consistent ability to know the true cost of different flight options.”

In its comments, Travel Tech addresses how ancillary fee information should be provided to ticket agents. In its proposed rule, the DOT seeks to omit global distribution systems from receiving mandatory ancillary fee data from airlines.

“Travel Tech strongly recommends that ancillary fee data be shared with all channels that distribute fare and schedule information,” Chadwick continued. “It is the most simple and direct way to solve the issue of ancillary fee transparency for consumers.”

Travel Tech also filed a petition today requesting a hearing on DOT’s proposed requirement to display the critical ancillary fee information on the first page of online search results. Travel Tech addresses this matter in its comments.

“Our members are the leading innovators in creating consumer-friendly online travel information sites. We are deeply concerned about the DOT’s first-page search results requirements included in the proposed regulation. These rules, if adopted as written, will clutter and confuse the online air travel shopping experience for consumers. This is especially true for travel comparison sites that display multiple airlines’ schedules and fares,” said Chadwick.

“In our comments and hearing petition, we argue that the Department should not displace ticket agents’ well-established expertise with a government-regulated website design mandate. Ticket agents should have the flexibility to design appropriate displays of ancillary fees and develop innovative new methods for consumers as well,” Chadwick continued.

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About Travel Tech

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. Travel Tech represents the leading innovators in travel technology, including global distribution systems, online travel agencies and metasearch companies, travel management companies, and short-term rental platforms.

To schedule an interview with a Travel Tech spokesperson, contact Dan Rene of kglobal at 202-329-8357 or daniel.rene@kglobal.com.

On Monday, January 9, 2023, the Travel Technology Association filed comments with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding the value of first-hand, timely traveler reviews. The comments, in response to FTC’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, focus on how consumers benefit from the ability to make informed choices when considering travel plans.

The comments state in part that “…Reviews or other quality rankings are often incorporated into search results to help consumers find, compare, assess, and book travel-related services based on a variety of factors, including value, quality, and safety. Consumers greatly value these services, and they are a key driver for travel planning and decision-making…”

In the filing, Travel Tech also encourages the FTC to “…utilize its existing authority to combat bad actors that employ the increasingly nefarious paid review-generation sites…” or “click farms.”

Click here to review the filing.

“On behalf of members of the Travel Technology Association, we congratulate Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) on the inclusion of their bipartisan Omnibus Travel and Tourism Act of 2021 in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden.

We look forward to working with the first Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Travel and Tourism, a new position established by the Omnibus Travel and Tourism Act.  Technology continues to be a critical tool in supporting consumer travel discovery and facilitating bookings and entry into the US.

Our members, the leading innovators in travel technology, including global distribution systems, online travel agencies and metasearch companies, travel management companies, and short-term rental platforms, stand ready to support the new secretary and their efforts to develop and implement a new national strategy to increase travel to and within the U.S.”

– Laura Chadwick, President and CEO, Travel Technology Association

Statement on Bipartisan Omnibus Travel and Tourism Act

Travel Tech Supports Travel Management Company Members Ahead of FAA Reauthorization Vote

April 01, 2024

April 1, 2024 – Travel Tech, together with the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) and the Travel Management Coalition, sent letters to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the U.S. House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure to highlight the provisions in the House and Senate FAA Reauthorization bills that apply […]