Travel Orgs Release Principles for Future of Air Travel Distribution
October 28th, 2013

Principles for the Future of Air Travel Distribution

Consumers today have an incredible range of options for searching, comparing, and purchasing travel services, from online travel sites to traditional travel agents, corporate travel departments, and provider web sites.  The current system is robust and competitive, and participants are adapting quickly to meet the changing needs of their customers.

The undersigned organizations help distribute and book air, rail, hotel, cruise, and car rental services for hundreds of millions of business and leisure travelers around the world.  Our organizations are driven by the needs of the traveling public.  Our vision for a consumer-focused and competitive future of air travel is based on the principles below.

Transparency

Travelers should be able to compare prices and purchase all of the services they will need for their flights at the time of booking, including ancillary services.  Travelers (or their agents) should be able to see all of the options and fees available for a flight before travel is booked, so they can make informed decisions during the booking process.

Choice

Travelers should be able to compare prices and services between a broad range of airlines, and they should be able to compare base fares and ancillary services with the base fares and services from other airlines that sell through the same distribution channel.  Choice should be driven by the traveler’s needs, and the traveler should be able to compare, contrast, and choose the supplier that best meets those needs.

Competition

Travelers should have access to a robust and competitive marketplace of airlines and other travel suppliers who compete for their business on a level playing field.  Both anonymous and self-identified travelers should be able to compare their full range of options among airlines.

Innovation

Innovation is driven by competition, and travelers should have a broad range of options to book their travel, ranging from airlines to online travel companies, corporate travel departments, and traditional travel agencies.  Each of those companies should be able to choose and develop the technologies that best meet its needs, so long as those systems do not interfere with open, transparent pricing and consumer choice.

Privacy

Travelers should be able to shop anonymously in a setting in which all applicable privacy laws and regulations are respected.  Customization should be at the request of the traveler, not at the demand of the supplier, and travel suppliers should allow travelers to decide which additional services they would like to receive, if any, whether traveling on business of for leisure with their family.