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ATA Issues Consumer Alert!

Tue May 07, 2002 12:43 am

ATA Issues Consumers Alert
INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 6, 2002--ATA (American Trans Air, Inc. Nasdaq:AMTR), the nation's 10th largest carrier (based on revenue passenger miles flown), today issued a consumers alert due to misleading and deceptive radio commercials being broadcast in the Chicago area and the West Coast by, a little known company selling airline tickets through the Internet.

According to ATA: is currently advertising supposed sample fares between Chicago and Boston quoting bogus fares for ATA. The fares provided in the ad are erroneous. In addition, ostensibly claims to offer low rates on "big name" airlines. However, its site does not provide the name of the airline offering the service, whether that service is non-stop or requires a stop or connection, time of departure or time of arrival until after the customer's credit card is charged. There are no refunds or exchanges permitted. is financially backed by United Airlines, American Airlines, Northwest Airlines, US Airways, America West and Continental Airlines. Coincidentally, only the rates and services of these airlines are provided.

"We are considering our legal options to stop this misleading advertising as blatantly attacks ATA's integrity and trustworthiness," said Don Moonjian, ATA Vice President Marketing. " suggests that ATA is a "no name" airline. I suggest they do their homework. ATA is the largest carrier at Midway and the number three carrier overall in Chicago.

"ATA feels an immediate obligation and commitment to play the advocate role by informing our customers so they do not fall prey to this misleading and deceptive practice," he added. "They falsified ATA's fares and, quite frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if they misrepresented the fares of other carriers as well."

Separately, ATA will file a complaint with the Department of Transportation (DOT) asking for a Cease and Desist Order and the initiation of enforcement proceedings.

Now in its 29th year of operation, ATA offers significant scheduled service from Chicago-Midway and Indianapolis to 40 business and vacation destinations. Stock of the Company's parent company, Amtran, Inc., is traded on the NASDAQ stock market under the symbol "AMTR."

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RE: ATA Issues Consumer Alert!

Tue May 07, 2002 1:28 am

If Hotwire is "little known" to ATA as noted in the quote above, then I'd be concerned about their lack of contemporary knowledge in the business of wholesale outlets like Priceline, CheapTickets, and of course Hotwire.
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RE: ATA Issues Consumer Alert!

Tue May 07, 2002 1:36 am

My take is that it was meant as in comparison to larger outlets, Cheap tickets, Expedia, priceline ..etc.
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RE: ATA Issues Consumer Alert!

Tue May 07, 2002 1:49 am

I think ATA calling hotwire a "little know company" was a way to get back at hotwire for inferring ATA is a "no name" airline.
Living in LA, ORD/MDW will always be home!
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RE: ATA Issues Consumer Alert!

Tue May 07, 2002 1:55 am

I for one have never heard of
I've heard of
But never
Fly the Flag!!!!

RE: ATA Issues Consumer Alert!

Tue May 07, 2002 2:08 am

They are running radio ads here in the SF Bay Area where they ask people in the street what they think of the fares they can offer. It will go like this.

"What do you think about SFO to JFK for $450 roundtrip"

Man in street: "Wow that's just awesome. How do you do it so low?"

Of course they don't affer anything that's cheaper than what you can get by going to Orbitz or Expedia etc. It's just marketing BS. I recently flew from SFO to EWR roundtrip for $206 inc taxes with Delta and I booked my tickets at ........... I also flew from SFO to London with British Airways in February for $385 roundtrip including taxes and I booked my ticket at I have never found the proicelines and hotwires of this world to offer genuine value especially when you consider that they like to put you on 6.00am departures.