There’s a new airline battle that’s just begun that you should keep an eye on. American Airlines has made a move to topple one of the largest online travel sites by refusing to supply pricing information to Orbitz.com and demanding that Orbitz remove American Airlines flight information from their search results. It seems American wants you to purchase tickets directly from them and no one else. In a counter volley, Expedia announced they will drop American Airlines flight information from their search results as well. So as the battle heats up, it will become more and more difficult to quickly find accurate flight information for your journey.
You can bet other airlines are watching closely. To-date Southwest has been the only airline to successfully require consumers to go directly to their site for ticket purchases. If American is successful in driving consumers only to their site to purchase tickets, surely other airlines will follow suit and poof the convenience of comparison airline search engines may be a thing of the past, along with all the extra convenient tools we’ve come to love on sites like Orbitz.
Stay tuned – this will not be a short battle, it seems clear that the major airlines want to squeeze every penny out of you that they can – make all the rules, and continue to bully the flying public.
It may be a good time to try out our friends at Momondo.com which is based in Copenhagen and has a unique search platform that delivers results from far more airlines than most US based airline ticketing sites.