Most people have, at some point in time, visited a website that compares the prices of different airline tickets. These can be convenient for making decisions based only on cost, but is there a downside?
These websites tend to lack the complete information that airlines make available on their websites. This information can include the costs of extra services. For example, one airline may seem more expensive, but offers a free meal that you’d have to purchase separately on the less expensive flight. In addition to the prices and flight times that all ticket comparison websites have, the IATA system could potentially include details on roomier seating, meals, and in-flight entertainment.
The International Air Transport Association wants to launch a new system that would allow air travel customers to compare prices without missing out on potentially vital information in the process. This new system could be used like other currently available sites, but customers could also create an account, save relevant personal information, and even get access to special discounts.
Says IATA Direction of Transformation Eric Leopold, “We want to offer a richer experience…Consumers are used to personalized offers” (Jansen, USA Today).
Sounds good to me.
There are some opponents to the idea, however, whose objections include concerns about discriminatory pricing, fewer choices, and data privacy.
IATA technology contractors are currently working on five prototypes.
Do you work for or with an airline? Check out World Low Cost Airlines Americas, taking place in Miami, Florida May of 2014.