Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The sign indicating the headquarters of AMR Co...AA says business up, despite Orbitz and Expedia tiff

Dallas Business Journal - by Candace Carlisle , Staff Writer
Date: Wednesday, December 29, 2010, 5:50pm CST

Judge declines to block American's departure from Orbitz

Fort Worth-based American Airlines said all is well with business Wednesday, despite recent turmoil between the airline and two online travel agencies Expedia and Orbitz.

After American's decision to pull its flight information from Orbitz on Dec. 21, Expedia added a step to its website for consumers trying to locate American flights two days later.

Since American pulled its flight information from Orbitz, the airline has seen a year-over-year increase in its overall ticket sales. The airline noted consumers are shifting their ticket purchases to other travel agency websites, as well as increasing the airline's website volume.

"Our results to date show that consumer choice is alive and well and that our customers continue to have thousands of options to purchase American's competitive fares and convenient schedules," said Derek DeCross, vice president and general sales manager of American, in a written release. "It is also clear to us that other online travel sites and traditional travel agencies are capitalizing on this market opportunity to gain business."

Following American's decision to pull its fares from Orbitz, several consumer advocacy groups called foul, saying the airline's actions limited consumer choice.
In a written statement, Expedia said the search engine essentially made it harder for consumers searching for an American flight because of the airline's decision to pull its Orbitz listings. That decision could ultimately affect Expedia, said company officials.

In the business update, DeCross stated American is committed to working with all distribution channels to benefit American's adoption of its "direct connection model" to distribute the airline's travel information to travel agencies.

DeCross said the direct connection model was the "new ear of buying and selling travel services," and would create more customized options for consumers.

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