Expedia Pulls American Airlines Flights from its Search EngineBack to Forum
Anonymous3 Jan 2011
If your company uses expedia as its corporate travel agent, or you use the expedia engine for booking your hols, be aware that it has pulled American Airlines fares from its database, and while these had been available (but hidden, requiring additional clickthroughs) for the past few weeks, AA fares have now been pulled altogether:3 Jan 2011
Orbitz is the same as I think this may be more popular (or I think so within the US). There is a detailed explanation on the AA website (certainly on the US website – not sure for the UK) and what to do if you have existing reservations which need changed as these differ between orbitz and expedia.3 Jan 2011
Here is the AA statement:
Expedia has chosen to no longer offer American Airlines fares on its website. Customers looking to compare flights or fares online should visit other travel sites such as Kayak.com or Priceline.com for the most accurate and up-to-date information, or you can always find our Lowest Fares Guaranteed and No Online Booking Fee at AA.com. American flights can also be purchased from a wide range of accredited travel agencies across the globe.
Tickets for air travel on American are no longer available for purchase on Expedia owing to a commercial dispute. Expedia’s actions to remove American may mislead some customers to believe they have fewer choices, even in situations where American’s fares are lower than other airlines, or when American offers superior schedules.
As of December 21, 2010, schedules and airfares for flights on American Airlines and American Eagle are also no longer available on Orbitz.com or websites powered by Orbitz.com.
Rest confidently [surely that should read “rest confident”] that airline tickets already purchased through any of these websites remain perfectly valid.4 Jan 2011
The genesis of this is that AA pulled from Orbitz, because it wanted Orbitz to deal directly with AA’s own reservation system rather than channel through a third party (i.e. to reduce cost to AA, and allow AA to (up)sell on ancillary items)
This is a slippery slope that could lead to more airlines pulling from Orbitz and other OTAs (e.g. Delta has quietly pulled from a bunch of smaller websites), and hence lead to reduced transparency and comparability for us travellers. i.e. AA may be on Priceline and Kayak now, but who knows in the future
Hence Expedia has pulled AA as a warning shot – to prove to AA how much they need the OTA channel, and need to treat them fairly. To this end, Expedia should be applauded, although I fear who wins the battle will depend on who blinks first…
Anyway, if any European business travellers are contemplating booking on AA – my question is WHY?! What – you don’t want a flat bed?!4 Jan 2011
There is a reasonable size article on this in USA Today. The article comments that one of the reasons for withdrawing is that expedia could not offer the “add ons” such as priority boarding etc that customers direct on its website can be sold. Additionally whilst the writer of the article felt that withdrawal was bad for AA, AA are of the opinion that only those booking the cheapest fares rely on expedia and so it would not lose out. It also argued that it fully supported transparency of fares.4 Jan 2011
AA have just issued the following:
Statement of American Airlines in Response to Sabre’s Actions
FORT WORTH, Texas, Jan. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — American Airlines today received notice from Sabre that it has taken a set of punitive actions against the airline and its customers, despite the fact that American has met all its obligations and continues to work in good faith with Sabre.
The actions, which include biasing its shopping displays, are anti-consumer, anti-competitive and harmful to its subscribing agents.
Sabre’s actions are discriminatory and patently inconsistent with both its contractual obligations and its professed goal of ensuring full transparency for the benefit of consumers and travel agents. In contrast, the actions only serve to protect Sabre’s market position and attempt to force airlines and travel agencies to rely exclusively on its legacy systems that only lead to higher fares and fewer choices for consumers.
American is committed to working with all efficient distribution channels, including traditional travel agencies, online travel agencies and global distribution systems
American Airlines and American Eagle fares and schedules – including all international and domestic classes of service – are widely available through a number of outlets, including American’s own website, AA.com, which features our Lowest Fare Guarantee, as well as through American’s reservations agents, thousands of travel agencies in locations worldwide, online travel agencies such as Priceline.com and metasearch engines such as Kayak.com.5 Jan 2011