Government Victory As Farce?

The standard media line is that Qantas has been taken to the shed over award availability by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and the Commission has forced the airline to reform.

    Mr Samuel said talks with Qantas had resulted in action by the airline to review and improve disclosure about the limited availability of frequent flyer seats. The most notable improvement was an internet site allowing consumers to identify flights where frequent flyer seats were available.

So the government has forced the airline to do what almost all major world airlines are doing, working to put award availability online. And Qantas’ willingness to do this is unlikely to be related to the cost savings it will see from reduced agent time spent on award bookings?

Airlines worldwide are pushing consumers to their websites because of the lower distribution costs involved. And award bookings are often the most time-consuming (as it can be difficult to find find) and thus most costly.

Somehow this is a victory for the Australian government?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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