Today two organizations that most consumers barely know, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Open Allies for Airfare Transparency, are sitting down in Miami to discuss the future of travel distribution. In consumer-speak, they are discussing setting new technical standards that will ultimately determine how travelers will be able to purchase airline tickets, extra fees, hotels, rental cars, cruises and packaged tours.
Next Monday, 16 December 2013, the ACACP will meet to consider privacy protection actions to recommend to the Secretary of Transportation. Pursuant to the law which mandated the establishment of the ACACP, the Secretary must report to Congress on what the ACACP has recommended, and what, if any, action the Secretary has taken on those recommendations. So unlike many advisory bodies, the ACACP can set its own agenda and can not be completely ignored.
Privacy advocates and some consumers are uneasy about government trusted-traveler programs like this one. There’s no guarantee that you’ll be approved, and if you aren’t, you may never know why. And Pre-Check status is no guarantee that you can avoid a standard TSA screening, which includes a full-body scan or a so-called “enhanced” pat-down.
Today, the government shuts down. If it were one day of shutdown, two or three, it might not make much difference. But, one day of the government closing affects months of hard work and benefits no one. For travelers, it means passengers will have a harder time learning about their rights. Citizens returning from overseas and visitor arriving in the US will wait in longer lines. Future privacy protections will be put on hold possibly for months. And, airlines will be allowed more time to obscure airfares and fees.
United Airlines is collecting lots of data about passengers and so are the other airlines? Why do they need to scour credit reports and other data to sell me a ticket? A blogger takes a look at irrational airline change fees. Expedia and Travelocity join forces … kinda.
Recent revelations of the National Security Agency’s sweeping domestic surveillance programs may have angered many Americans, but for most travelers, it was nothing new.
The overall number of privacy complaints received by the FTC is something over 2 million complaints annually. The number of privacy complaints registered with DOT was zero. That’s right, zero.
This is a topic that doesn’t come up very often. In fact, since the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) doesn’t have jurisdiction over airline reservation systems and travel agencies, it has not been part of the overall Internet privacy discussions. Your privacy with airlines exists at the whim of the airlines with little government oversight.
Hotels may have compromised much credit card information. At least one government agency shares that concern. The FTC claims, hundreds of thousands of credit card numbers fall into the wrong hands, leading to millions of dollars in fraud-related losses.