American Airlines just announced that starting immediately Orbitz will no longer display and sell American Airlines tickets on their website and US Airways tickets will no longer be for sell via the online distributor after September 1, 2014.
“American Airlines fares are no longer available through consumer websites powered by Orbitz, including orbitz.com and cheaptickets.com. We also anticipate removing US Airways fares from Orbitz on September 1, 2014. You can continue to compare and purchase American Airlines and US Airways flights or fares through other online and brick and mortar travel agencies. Corporate clients that use Orbitz for Business to book travel are not affected by this change.
Tickets already purchased through Orbitz websites remain valid for travel, but changes to reservations must be made through each airline’s reservations department. If changes to travel are needed, please contact the reservations center for the carrier operating the flight. For tickets purchased from American Airlines for travel, please contact 800-433-7300. For tickets purchased from US Airways for travel, please contact 800-428-4322.
To book future travel on American Airlines or US Airways and to easily search for the lowest available fares with no online booking fees, visit us on aa.com or usairways.com. 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. “
American Airlines Scott Kirby, President of American’s operations, planning, marketing, sales, alliances, and pricing/yield management says ‘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…” yet after no deal was reach American has decided to pull its fares from Orbitz.
American Airlines is attempting to get more consumers to purchase their tickets directly from AA and US Airways’ website in order to cut the cost it pays to travel agencies like Orbitz. American Airlines is not the first airline to pull its fares from online distributors and I am certain they will not be the last. Currently Southwest does not display any of their fares on online travel agencies like Orbitz or Expedia and depends on consumers buying tickets to buy them directly from the Airline.
This change is both bad and good as the atypical traveler who use Orbitz to book vacation packages or flights in order to compare multiple airlines side by side and vacation packages will be losing out on another viable and possibly cheaper option when booking online via the mega reseller of airline and vacation tickets. Yet for AA, this move is good as it may drive more consumers directly to their website and cut costs for the highly profitable airline. More information on this change can be found on AA’s website.
I normally do not use Orbitz, but Orbitz has been great to use when AA has mistake fares or when AA’s website won’t allow a specific connection that I want, yet Orbitz will price it out and allow segment by segment itineraries to be purchased. Loosing Orbitz is a blow to those specific situations.
Does this change affect you or is this just part of how the industry is changing?