Not being able to sit with the ones you love while traveling hurts

Take just a few minutes this Valentine’s Day to make your voice heard.

Take just a few minutes this Valentine’s Day to make your voice heard.

Let me pay for my seat when I buy my ticket

Many parts of the world are celebrating Valentine’s Day on Thursday, February 14 – and it’s no different here at Sabre. Maybe it’s the fact that the holiday’s mascot shows heart and has wings, but it’s hard not to connect this moment celebrating love with travel. This year, we’re marking Valentine’s Day by inviting others in the travel marketplace to stand up for transparency and fair competition before the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

People deserve the ability to compare and buy the essential parts of their travel experience, such as seats, checked baggage and boarding, wherever airlines choose to sell their tickets. But today, these flight options and their associated fees are too often only made available by airlines at their own websites. This makes comparison shopping across airlines difficult if not impossible for consumers who want to make informed purchase decisions based on the total cost of travel.

Not only do travelers risk paying more, but families and friends traveling together are often unable to reserve seats together at the time of ticket purchase. This is simply because some airlines refuse to make their paid seats available wherever they sell their tickets. These travelers may later find there are no adjacent seats available. The result – consumers get stuck with tickets they may not have wanted to buy in the first place if they knew they wouldn’t be able to sit together. And, yes, this could mean loved ones are separated on the plane. That’s not fair – Cupid would call it heartless.

Sensing the unmistakable risks to consumers, DOT has been studying the issue for years – but the time for action is now. That’s why we are asking DOT to establish common-sense rules giving consumers transparency into the total cost of air travel – wherever airlines choose to sell their tickets. The department is expected to release its proposed rules on the matter in May 2013, so today, we’re asking you to show some love.

Did you know that you have an opportunity right now to ask the DOT to have a heart?

Take just a few minutes this Valentine’s Day to make your voice heard. Visit Let the Market Fly’s Take Action page, where you can submit your comments and personal experiences to DOT ahead of the department’s rulemaking later this year.