The government is set to clamp down on airlines’ “unfair” use of algorithms to set the price of flights. In recent months, there has been a soaring of flight prices, especially for services connecting the mainland to Sicily and Sardinia.
Business and Made in Italy Minister Adolfo Urso said yesterday that the Italian government is going to clamp down on ‘unfair’ use of algorithms which inflate the price of flights.
“We have identified a distorted commercial practice when it comes to expensive flights with an algorithm that profiles the user and then creates a sort of flight auction which, in recent days, has led to prices for routes like the Rome-Cagliari one to go as high as €980,” Urso told Sky television.
“Or there’s Rome-Catania at 1,000 euros, something that is unacceptable.
“That algorithm has been deleted. It will no longer be possible to use it.
“At the same time, we have set a ceiling on the prices of flights to the islands (of Sicily and Sardinia), where there is no land connection and, therefore, no alternative (to air or sea travel)”.
A draft of the omnibus ‘assets and investment’ decree is set to be examined by the Cabinet on Monday. It would ban dynamic price setting on the basis of booking time in some circumstances. These include: if applied to connections to Sicily and Sardinia; if applied to peaks in demand linked to seasonal factors; and if it leads to the price of tickets or accessory services being 200% higher than the average price.