Travel sites push for easier air fare comparison, airlines oppose move

Travel sites push for easier air fare comparison, airlines oppose move

A push for federal regulations aimed at making comparison shopping easier for travelers could require airlines to share data on fares and fees with online travel agencies like Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity.

But airlines are resisting, saying they have the right to decide what companies they partner with for sales. While online travel agencies can help airlines push more tickets, the carriers also see them as middlemen that profit from the product sold by airlines — and drive fares down by intensifying direct price competition.

“What’s happening is, they’re blocking competition by blocking comparison,” said Kurt Ebenhoch, executive director of Air Travel Fairness, an advocacy group representing travel search companies.

While many travelers want to find the lowest fare, carriers like Delta Air Lines don’t want to be compared to other carriers based solely on price. That, they fear, would result in a race to the bottom in fares.

Get the full story at The Atlanta Journal Constitution