American Airlines says they've pulled their fares off of websites powered by Orbitz after being unable to come to terms on a long-term contract.
The American Airlines Group said Tuesday they've also let the online broker know they will be pulling US Airways fares on Sept. 1.
“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, in a statement released to the media Tuesday. “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.”
American has been trying for several years to cut commission spending by selling more tickets directly to consumers. That has led to fights with online travel agencies such as Orbitz Worldwide Inc. and Expedia Inc. and intermediaries such as Travelport and Sabre that operate ticket-distribution systems.
American pulled its flights off Orbitz in 2010 and sued the travel agency in 2011, claiming that it violated antitrust laws by downplaying American flights when consumers searched the site. The companies reached a settlement last year. Terms were not disclosed.
Expedia also stopped showing American flights for a time, although that ban was lifted after the companies agreed on a new contract in 2011.
Orbitz released the following statement to NBC 5 after American's announcement:
“American Airlines has notified Orbitz Worldwide that as of today, its flights will not be available on Orbitz sites. Our sites offer hundreds of airlines which are eager to capture the revenue American is choosing to forego and we will continue to show our customers a broad range of flight options to thousands of destinations in the U.S. and worldwide. Orbitz for Business is not impacted.”
Tickets already purchased through Orbitz websites remain valid for travel, but changes to reservations must be made through each airline’s reservations department.
Corporate clients that use Orbitz for business to book travel are not affected by this change, both the airline and Orbitz said.
On Tuesday afternoon, Orbitz shares were down 57 cents, or 6.8 percent, to $7.86; and American shares were 19 cents lower at $39.23.
For more, visit aa.com/orbitz.