MIAMI – US airline JetBlue (B6) has been slapped with a lawsuit alleging that it has been manipulating prices against customers, according to a Fox News report.
According to the news channel, “Fareportal, an online travel agency behind flight booking websites like CheapOair and OneTravel, filed a lawsuit against budget airline B6 this week.
The agency accuses B6 of engaging in an anti-competitive “scheme” to prevent consumers from being able to comparison shop B6’s airfares with other airlines,” alleging that B6 ” is making it hard for travelers to compare prices on routes it ‘dominates,’ allowing it to raise fares.”
Fareportal has also stated that B6 has blocked access to displaying its fares.
Airline Says Lawsuit Is ‘Frivolous’
The online travel company claimed, per the report, that the scheme “could lead to higher ticket prices in markets where JetBlue has a strong presence like New York, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Boston, Los Angeles and San Juan, Puerto Rico.”
Fareportal’s chief legal and compliance officer Frederick Stein told Fox News in a statement that “JetBlue is trying to force customers to book tickets on its website where the lack of price comparison with fares from other airlines will allow JetBlue to raise ticket prices for price-sensitive travelers.”
However, in its defense, B6 disputed Fareportal claims, telling the suit was “frivolous and wholly without merit,” adding that “it is common industry practice for airlines to choose where to sell their products,” and that JetBlue is “currently one of several major airlines not selling via Fareportal’s platforms.”
Over ten aggregator sites currently carry B6’s fares in the comparison listings, as the airline states customers find lower fares in its own website.
Featured image: Andrew Henderson/Airways