Want to book a flight on American Airlines? Fine, just don’t plan to buy your ticket from Orbitz. According to American: “American Airlines has withdrawn its fares from consumer websites powered by Orbitz, effective immediately.”
US Airways fares will be pulled as well, beginning on September 1.
What’s the dispute about? “We have worked tirelessly with Orbitz to reach a deal with the economics that allow us to keep costs low and compete with low-cost carriers. While our fares are no longer on Orbitz, there are a multitude of other options available for our customers, including brick and mortar agencies, online travel agencies, and our own websites.”
Translation: It’s the same issue that was behind American’s last dust-up with Orbitz, in 2010. Namely, money. In particular, American is apparently unwilling to pay the commissions Orbitz is demanding to sell the airline’s tickets.
In the end, the two will almost certainly eke out a deal. Orbitz can’t afford not to have American’s among the airline tickets it sells. And American can’t afford to lose Orbitz as a distribution channel for its tickets.
In the meantime, American and US Airways tickets may be purchased through a host of other off- and online channels, including the airlines’ own websites. In fact, that would be the airlines’ first choice, since there are no commissions and it gives the airlines an opportunity to cross-sell their services and products. From the airline’s Orbitz FAQ:
“American Airlines and US Airways flights are offered at the lowest available fares on each airline’s website at aa.com and usairways.com and you will pay no online booking fees. Only on these sites will you find convenient booking, online check-in, flight status notifications, the ability to earn AAdvantage miles or Dividend Miles on flights, hotels, cars and more — providing an all-in-one experience from booking to takeoff.”
Take that, Orbitz!
Reader Reality Check
Will American’s breakup with Orbitz affect you?
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.
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