Comparison shopping is key to protecting consumer choice, but is threatened by airline attempts to bypass independent distribution channels.
That is the conclusion of the report on ‘The Impact of Airline Consolidation on Consumer Choice’, published this week.
It notes: “Carriers’ relative bargaining position has been strengthened through consolidation and direct access to consumers and agents” and this “threatens the business models of independent distribution platforms that are the primary source for comparison shopping.”
It warns: “Carriers are employing commercial practices to shift consumers to their own websites where they avoid comparison-shopping, avoid ‘head to head’ competition and upsell services to consumers.
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