ASTA continues fight against American Airlines' NDC scheme

ASTA president and CEO Zane Kerby said ASTA recently met with the Department of Transportation about American Airlines’ new NDC strategy.

ASTA has sent letters to both the DOT and the Department of Justice about American Airlines’ decision to restrict some content (particularly the airline’s lowest fares) to NDC connections only, arguing the move is anticompetitive and negatively impacts consumers.

Citing price discrepancies between NDC and Edifact content from 20% to more than 120%, Kerby said corporate travelers — many of whom are served by TMCs that traditionally book via non-NDC channels — are losing out.

“To call that a modern retailing strategy is strange,” he said.

ASTA general counsel Peter Lobasso and Kerby spent an hour with DOT representatives two weeks ago, Kerby said, and the DOT “had some very pointed questions.”

“We are hopeful that our regulators in Washington will take a really hard look at this,” Kerby said.

Regardless of the outcome with the DOT, he said, ASTA continues to pursue its case with the DOJ, arguing American is employing “discriminatory practices.”

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