American Airlines pulls its flights from Orbitz amid fee spat
American Airlines (AAL) has removed its flights from online booking sites run by Orbitz Worldwide (OWW) as the two companies battle over booking fees.
Shares of the online travel site were lately moving lower on the news.
The tiff centers on the booking fees Orbitz charges. Airlines and online travel sites are in constant negotiations over the fees charged for each ticket. Carriers have been looking for ways to cut costs in order to stay competitive with low-cost carriers and other airlines that opt out of the online ticketing system.
“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,” said Scott Kirby, president of American Airlines.
American Airlines withdrew all its flights and plans to take down its US Airways flights as of Monday from Orbitz sites, which include Orbitz.com, ebookers.com, CheapTickets.com and others.
The airline will keep its flights listed on Orbitz for Business, a separate company for corporate travel bookings.
“Our sites offer hundreds of airlines which are eager to capture the revenue American is choosing to forego,” Orbitz said in a release after American Airlines pulled the flights.
The dispute mirrors a similar breakdown between the airline and online travel company about three years ago. American Airlines pulled its flights from Orbitz sites in 2010 amid a larger legal battle with Travelport Worldwide, a 48% owner of Orbitz at the time.
An Illinois legal ruling in 2011 required the airline to make its flights available through the online travel site. It re-listed its flights on Orbitz shortly thereafter.