Open Allies for Airfare Transparency (Open Allies) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) today announced agreement on a set of conditions the two organizations are jointly recommending to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) in connection with Resolution 787. The two parties have been engaged in a productive dialogue on Resolution 787 since December, and they filed the proposed conditions with DOT in a joint motion today.
The conditions address any possible industry confusion over the scope of Resolution 787 by making clear that any DOT action would not constitute approval or endorsement of any method or business model of distributing air transportation. Other agreed conditions ensure that the adoption of any technical standards ultimately developed as a consequence of Resolution 787 would (i) be entirely voluntary, (ii) not require the disclosure of personal data, (iii) not exclude the use of other standards, and (iv) have no impact on data ownership. The final condition addresses concerns about the new standards developed as a result of Resolution 787 being compatible with existing standards. Open Allies has agreed to withdraw its opposition to DOT action concerning Resolution 787 subject to incorporation of these conditions in any DOT order. (Open Allies, however, does not endorse NDC.)
“We are delighted that we were able to reach agreement on conditions to limit the scope of Resolution 787 and ensure that it addresses only data transmission standard-setting, not a new distribution business model,” said Andrew Weinstein, Executive Director of Open Allies. “We believe these conditions will serve all travelers by safeguarding transparency, competition, and consumer choice, while protecting privacy and ensuring that any new standards developed under Resolution 787 are open standards available to all industry participants. We look forward to continuing our dialogue with IATA and other industry stakeholders to develop a collaborative approach to address standard-setting in future.”
To further that goal, IATA and Open Allies have agreed to work together and with other stakeholders to establish an industry forum that will support a collaborative approach on distribution standard-setting. The organizations will share additional information about the structure and participants in that forum over the coming days and weeks.
The joint conditions filed by IATA and Open Allies with DOT were:
|Scope of Resolution 787||Approval of Resolution 787 does not constitute approval of any agreement among IATA member airlines regarding any method or business model of distributing air transportation, nor restrict the use of any channels available for the distribution of air transportation, including indirect distribution by other than airlines. Any future agreement among IATA member airlines regarding business models for the distribution of air transportation shall not be implemented without prior compliance with any applicable government approval or notification process.|
|Personal Information||Approval of IATA Resolution 787 does not constitute approval of any agreement among IATA member airlines to require the disclosure by any passenger of personal information of any kind.|
|Use of Other Data Transmissions Standards||Approval of IATA Resolution 787 does not constitute approval of any agreement among IATA member airlines to require the use of any particular data transmission standard(s).|
|Data Ownership||This approval does not in any way address the issue of data ownership and specifically does not include approval of Section 1.2.7 of Resolution 787 or of any other reference to ownership in the Resolution.|
|Backwards Compatibility/Other Standards||Any communications or message standards or protocols developed under Resolution 787 shall be open standards, meaning useable by distributors of air transportation and intermediaries in the distribution of air transportation, including CRSs and other aggregators, on a non-discriminatory basis. Approval of Resolution 787 does not constitute approval of any agreement to prohibit individual IATA member airlines or groups of such airlines from continuing to utilize any communication or message protocol, including existing standards. Nothing in the approval of Resolution 787 shall be deemed to be an approval of either a restriction on backwards compatibility or a restriction on development of a communications or messaging standard that is not backward compatible. Further, nothing in Resolution 787 shall be construed to inhibit the ability of distributors of air transportation to use other standards, including existing standards, in combination with any standard developed under Resolution 787. Notwithstanding any language in Section 1.2.4 of Resolution 787, airlines and technology service providers are free to pursue backward compatibility of Resolution 787 communications or message standards or protocols based on their particular business needs.|
Open Allies for Airfare Transparency is a coalition of more than 400 independent distributors and sellers of air travel, corporate travel departments, travel trade associations and consumer organizations. Open Allies and its members are committed to the principles of transparency, choice, competition, privacy, and innovation in the air travel marketplace. More information can be found at www.faretransparency.org.
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