Printer Friendly

COALITION OBJECTS TO CONTINUED DOT DELAY OF CRS RULES

 COALITION OBJECTS TO CONTINUED DOT DELAY OF CRS RULES
 WASHINGTON, May 18 /PRNewswire/ -- A broad-based coalition of airlines, computer reservations system (CRS) vendors, travel agency organizations, and consumer groups today expressed serious concern over the latest of many delays on the part of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) in making changes to the rules for the CRS industry.
 In comments filed with the DOT, the coalition said the department's decision to again delay necessary improvements in the CRS rules represents a serious setback for consumers as well as competition in the CRS and airline industries. The coalition asked the department to institute new rules by Aug. 1.
 The coalition includes Alaska Airlines, America West Airlines, the American Society of Travel Agents, the Association of Retail Travel Agents, the Aviation Consumer Action Project, British Airways, the Consumer Federation of America, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Northwest Airlines, System One Corporation, Trans World Airlines, and WORLDSPAN Travel Agency Information Services.
 Government rules on the operation and marketing of computer systems owned by major airlines and used by travel agents to book the vast majority of U.S. air travel were first instituted in 1984. The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) found that because the powerful systems were heavily biased in favor of the owning airline, they funneled hundreds of millions of dollars in incremental air travel revenue away from smaller carriers. The 1984 rules outlawed the more blatant forms of bias and have been credited with removing barriers to airline competition. Responsibility for enforcing the rules was transferred to the DOT at the end of 1984.
 The original deadline for renewal and modification of the rules was Dec. 31, 1990. In September 1989, the DOT began a rulemaking procedure in order to meet that deadline. In so doing, the department tentatively concluded that the existing CRS rules needed to be continued, but that some provisions of the rules required strengthening to further protect consumers and enhance competition. However, the DOT failed to meet the Dec. 31, 1990, deadline and set itself another -- Nov. 30, 1991 -- which it also failed to meet. The DOT then set another deadline -- May 31, 1992 -- which it recently announced would not be met and proposed instead a fourth deadline of Dec. 11, 1992.
 "It would have been miraculous if the original rules had perfectly accomplished their objectives of eliminating monopoly abuses and the effects of incremental revenues on airline competition," the coalition reported. "It would have been even more miraculous if the CAB had anticipated the various strategies that would subsequently be developed to undermine the rules."
 The coalition pointed out that the department, which saw the need for revision of the rules in 1989, and again as recently as March 1991, has proposed numerous changes to help accomplish the original pro-competitive goals. But according to the filing, the DOT has now done a complete about-face, and instead of finalizing the rules, is proposing yet another lengthy extension of the existing rules.
 "The department has found, in great detail," the coalition said, "that the public benefits of the rule revisions would be substantial while costs would not be meaningful. An extensive record has been compiled over a two-and-one-half-year period. The issues have been argued and re-argued, analyzed and re-analyzed. The conclusion is inescapable. Whether the department adopts rule revisions exactly as it has proposed, or in some modified form as various parties have proposed, U.S. consumers will be much better off than if the rules are left unchanged.
 "Under these circumstances, the appropriate course is not further delay, but action along the lines called for by President Bush. He asked that 'action not requiring additional public comment be completed by August 1, 1992.' The revised CRS rules require no further public comment. The public's interest in prompt issuance of the revised rules is clear and well-documented."
 -0- 5/18/92
 /CONTACT: Paul Schoellhamer, coordinator for the coalition, 301-654-8211/ CO: U.S. Department of Transportation; Worldspan Travel Agency
 Information Services ST: District of Columbia IN: AIR LEI SU:


EA-BN -- AT002 -- 1227 05/18/92 10:32 EDT
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 18, 1992
Words:685
Previous Article:AMERICAN PHYSICIANS SERVICE GROUP ANNOUNCES RESULTS OF OPERATIONS FOR FIRST QUARTER OF 1992
Next Article:/ C O R R E C T I O N -- UFCW /
Topics:


Related Articles
GROUP URGES ACTION ON COMPUTER RESERVATIONS SYSTEM RULES
DOT ADOPTS REVISED COMPUTER RESERVATION SYSTEM RULES
AMERICA WEST AIRLINES DISAPPOINTED WITH D.O.T. RULE ON COMPUTER RESERVATIONS SYSTEMS
GROUPS URGE DOT TO 'LET THE SUN SHINE' ON AIRLINES' ON-TIME PERFORMANCE; PENA CRITICIZED FOR 'RUSH TO JUDGMENT'
DELTA FILES COMPLAINT WITH DOT AGAINST AMERICAN AND SABRE
Travel Agents Rally Against Proposed CRS Rule Changes; Thousands Sign Petition; Others Protest on Capitol Hill.
Travel Groups Transmit Results of Customer Referendum on Reservation System Rules.
AARC welcomes DOT amendment to Air Carrier Access Act for medical oxygen users.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters