Airlines Want To Extend 'Dynamic Pricing' Capabilities To Set Ticket Prices By Each Person
Thursday, March 22, 2018
In the near future, what you post on social media sites (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) could affect the price you pay for airline tickets. How's that?
First, airlines already use what the travel industry calls "dynamic pricing" to vary prices by date, time of day, and season. We've all seen higher ticket prices during the holidays and peak travel times. The Telegraph UK reported that airlines want to extend dynamic pricing to set fares by person:
"... the advent of setting fares by the person, rather than the flight, are fast approaching. According to John McBride, director of product management for PROS, a software provider that works with airlines including Lufthansa, Emirates and Southwest, a number of operators have already introduced dynamic pricing on some ticket searches. "2018 will be a very phenomenal year in terms of traction," he told Travel Weekly..."
And, there was a preliminary industry study about how to do it:
" "The introduction of a Dynamic Pricing Engine will allow an airline to take a base published fare that has already been calculated based on journey characteristics and broad segmentation, and further adjust the fare after evaluating details about the travelers and current market conditions," explains a white paper on pricing written by the Airline Tariff Publishing Company (ATPCO), which counts British Airways, Delta and KLM among its 430 airline customers... An ATPCO working group met [in late February] to discuss dynamic pricing, but it is likely that any roll out to its customers would be incremental."
What's "incremental" mean? Experts say first step would be to vary ticket prices in search results at the airline's site, or at an intermediary's site. There's virtually no way for each traveler to know they'd see a personal price that's higher (or lower) from prices presented to others.
With dynamic pricing per person, business travelers would pay more. And, an airline could automatically bundle several fees (e.g., priority boarding, luggage, meals, etc.) for its loyalty program members into each person's ticket price, obscuring transparency and avoiding fairness. Of course, airlines would pitch this as convenience, but alert consumers know that any convenience always has its price.
Thankfully, some politicians in the United States are paying attention. The Shear Social Media Law & Technology blog summarized the situation very well:
"[Dynamic pricing by person] demonstrates why technology companies and the data collection industry needs greater regulation to protect the personal privacy and free speech rights of Americans. Until Silicon Valley and data brokers are properly regulated Americans will continue to be discriminated against based upon the information that technology companies are collecting about us."
Just because something can be done with technology, doesn't mean it should be done. What do you think?
This is what a large part of getting FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and his fellow Republican commissioners at the FCC to overturn former Chairman Wheeler’s net neutrality and privacy regulations is all about. That is, permitting those who exappropriate our personal information to do so with impunity and then use that information, along with the ability to control access to websites, to get the most money possible out of every American.
Fight back: Punish Republicans for this at the polls this November; use a good VPN service that encrypts you data, conceals your IP address, and that doesn’t keep any record of where you go or what you do on the Internet; and either don’t use social media or use it understanding that each use of social media reveals information that is used to create a profile of you that others use to maximize their profits or otherwise manipulate you to their advantage and almost always to your prejudice.
Posted by: Chanson de Roland | Thursday, March 22, 2018 at 01:41 PM