Open Allies pressures DOT to reject IATA’s Resolution 787

“Not good enough!” That’s the cry of several airline distribution players, as they try to thwart the International Air Transport Association (IATA)‘s effort to fix its much-critiqued proposal for changing the industry’s messaging standards for airfare content.

Industry opponents are swinging what they hope are the knockout blows to IATA’s industry-changing proposal Resolution 787, which currently waits for approval from the US Department of Transportation (DOT).

This past spring, IATA submitted its blueprint for an XML data transmission standard for regulatory approval by the DOT.

Companies and industry groups submitted nearly 400 complaints critiquing the wording of the resolution. 

Attack of the hobgoblins

In late June, IATA responded to these complaints by proposing the DOT add “conditions” to the resolution, acknowledging that a number of parts of the resolution should be removed or changed.

It assured the DOT that concerns expressed by other commenters were “hobgoblins invented by those vested in the status quo.” IATA has blogged a general response to the industry complaints: “Five answers about resolution 787.”

But IATA’s move to accommodate concerns has not satisfied opponents.

Six days ago, Amadeus, the leading global distribution system, issued a statement saying:

“We believe it is the original recipe that needs changing.  IATA must now take the initiative to change Resolution 787 and re-submit afresh to the DOT.”

Last night, Open Allies for Airfare Transparency, which represents nearly 400 of the largest travel agencies, corporate travel buyers, and other travel industry stakeholders, revealed that it wants IATA to withdraw Resolution 787, create a new one, get it approved by its Passenger Services Conference, and let DOT review the simplified document by end of the year.

Open Allies’ submission to the DOT, shared below, walks through all of the contradictions and inconsistencies between IATA’s multiple filings/responses/statements, while urging DOT to reject the proposal. Says Andrew Weinstein, executive director of Open Allies:

Last October, the Passenger Services Conference of IATA approved the original Resolution 787.

IATA then passed a subsequent resolution on New Distribution Capability at its Annual General Meeting that was inconsistent with the original resolution, then sent a Reply to DOT that contained yet another set of “conditions” to 787 that contradicted the earlier proposals.

In short, the whole process has been a mess, and IATA needs to start over.

Will the DOT take it upon itself to accept IATA’s document with what are essentially a bunch of redlines, cross outs, and addendums scribbled on it. Or will it reject the proposal, requiring IATA to re-submit it?

A decision looms by autumn.

The document submitted to the DOT is here:

Open Allies reply to IATA's reply to critics of its Resolution 787 by Sean O'Neill

NB: Image courtesy of Nadia Ibanez/Flickr/Creative Commons.

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Sean O'Neill

About the Writer :: Sean O'Neill

Sean O’Neill had roles as a reporter and editor-in-chief at Tnooz between July 2012 and January 2017.



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  1. nimby

    Hmm vested interests trying to boot out a new initative, not succeeding, so playing the foot dragging game.
    Nothing new then.

  2. Niamh

    Mobileguy has it right – the competing forces at play here are formidable and reconciliation will be very difficult. The airlines are trying to buck the trend of pricing transparency, and consumers (and their so-called representatives, like Open Allies which is just a blatantly opportunistic organization) don’t like that.

    The kicker is that NDC itself is just a bunch of XML messages that may or may not be implemented by airlines and their trading partners. The airlines and IATA have made the dumb mistake of conflating the distribution method (an XML pipe) with a consumer-unfriendly pricing philosophy.

    If IATA had just come out and said we’re building a new set of schema to facilitate the exchange of data between trading partners, and NOT mucked up that simple message with a bunch of self-serving blather about personalization, they wouldn’t be in this mess.

  3. mobileguy

    It’s basically airlines vs the world. All airlines want to be Southwest and keep anyone from comparing prices with their competitors. The world wants to force airlines to compete on price by making it easy to compare. Not sure there is any solution which will make both sides happy.

  4. John Pope

    You da’ man, Sean.

    Nice reporting to highlight a very substantial industry issue.

    KUTGW 🙂


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