Frequent Fliers, Prepare to Pay More??
What a crazy idea. This article from the New York Times explains that …………..
The world's largest airlines have agreed to adopt a new standard for distributing airfare information that could significantly compromise the privacy of customers and allow carriers to charge travelers different prices for the same trip.
The new standard, which was agreed to at a meeting of the International Air Transport Association in October, will allow airlines to ask customers searching for airfares through travel agents or Web sites to first provide their names, frequent flier numbers, contact details and other information before presenting them with prices. A few airlines are expected to test this approach this year. A majority of the group's 240 members, which include most American airlines though not Southwest, voted for the standard.
Federal regulators have not yet studied the new standard. But the Department of Transportation has the authority to police unfair and deceptive practices.
Industry officials say the standard, which they call "new distribution capability," is simply a way for airlines to better tailor their services to the needs of their customers. They also say customers will still have the option of shopping anonymously for basic fares if they choose not to provide any information about themselves.
It seems clear that the standard, as described by the group, could also be used to present higher fares to, say, a business traveler who airlines determine could pay more because she travels between New York and Dallas every week. Airlines will also have a big incentive to present much higher basic prices when customers shop anonymously to encourage them to provide more information about themselves in order to see "special deals."
NYT: Frequent Fliers, Prepare to Pa
If you ask me, nothing good would come about for consumers as a result of this type of change. What say you?