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American Threatens to Ditch Orbitz

Today, American made a very public threat to revoke Orbitz’ authority to list and ticket American Airlines flights as of December 1, unless Orbitz changes its current way of accessing American’s data, specifically its flight inventory and ancillary services.

Will this break-up actually happen? Clearly, this is a power play from American, whose director of merchandising strategy said, according to tnooz, “American values its longstanding relationship with Orbitz and desires an agreement that works for both parties.”

So who will give in? On the one hand, online travel agencies are useful to consumers primarily as a one-stop shop for comparing prices across airlines, so presumably, Orbitz is taking seriously this threat to its diversity of offerings. However, based on American’s strategy here, this seems more like negotiation-theater than a sign the airline will actually part ways with Orbitz. But we’ll keep you posted.

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