22 Nov

Survey: Code of Conduct on Computer Reservation Systems (CRS) – respond by 10 December

Recent hot topics in the area of airline ticket sales such as GDS surcharges, access to full content and a drive to direct sell, recognise the significant changes which have taken place in the distribution market since the CRS Code of Conduct was first introduced in 1989 (updated 2009).

This survey is part of a public consultation to assess the relevance and effectiveness of the Code and the rules underpinning a competitive distribution market.

The rules aim to ensure market efficiency and the protection of consumer interests in sales of air tickets:

  • Ensure a level playing field for participating carriers as to access to and the use of CRS services
  • Prevent distortion of competition between CRS by parent carriers
  • Increase transparency on travel options
  • Consistently apply data protection rules across the EU
  • Promote rail and inter-modal transport

In 2012, a review established that stakeholders (including agents) believe that the Code of Conduct (Regulation 80/2009) is necessary, but updating is required to recognise market changes.

Development of metasearch, direct airline sales and IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) are not recognised by the current regulation.  Although these developments have had, and will continue to have, significant impact on the distribution market, CRS remain a critical tool for agents to access neutral and unbiased information, with full servicing functionality.

It is therefore important to ensure that the Regulation is fit for purpose: to acknowledge the market changes and ensure agents can provide consumers with the information they need to make informed buying decisions.

Section C of the survey is most relevant to agents (section B is for consumers).

The survey is open until 10 December 2018 and can be accessed here.

If you have any queries, please contact Susan Deer, Senior Solicitor on sdeer@abta.co.uk or the Members’ Information team on 0203 117 0597.