Agents: FareLine unfair to competition

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NEW YORK -- Travel agents in the Chattanooga, Tenn., area plan to attend a Jan. 20 Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority board meeting as they seek to overturn a decision to tap that city's Apollo Travel to operate FareLine for the airport.

FareLine is a fare-quote telephone service that callers can use to get fare information and to book travel.

Some of Apollo's competitors are angry at the airport authority for failing to put the project out to bid and, through advertising and other means, for allegedly discriminating against other agencies.

The airport believes it is losing customers [55% of air travelers in its market area] to airports like Atlanta and Nashville, where fares are sometimes a lot lower.

The Chattanooga airport wants research and data on fare discrepancies so it can lobby airlines to even out the differences.

It granted a one-year, $30,000 contract to Apollo Travel to operate the telephone service, gather data and sell to callers who contact the airport about purchasing airline tickets.

To kick off the operation, the airport in November paid for a month-long newspaper ad campaign directing the public to FareLine.

The objectors will attend an airport authority board meeting on Jan. 20, and they will ask for the deal with Apollo to be overturned.

You can reach the journalist who wrote this article at [email protected].

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