Meow! The claws are out between American Airlines and Expedia. Not liking what it sees happening to ticketing rival, Orbitz, Expedia has pre-emptively punished American Airlines pushing its listings to dead last in all ticket searches. Even worse perhaps, customers now have to click deeper to actually get the ticket price. In a sales game where positioning is everything, American Airlines just got knee-capped.
So what did American Airlines do to tick off Expedia?
At issue: all flights and ticketing information are centralized and managed through global distribution companies, like Galileo. American Airlines is tired of paying someone else to manage this piece of the chain. More importantly, American wants this piece of the chain because it would give them control over all those lucrative travel add-ons, like hotel reservations and car rentals.
Ticketing sites, like Orbitz and Expedia, fear this would be a precedent giving the airlines to much control of their sandbox. When American's contract with Orbitz recently expired, the airline tried to renegotiate its new contract sans middleman. Orbitz balked and American walked. AA listings are no longer included on the Orbitz site.
In a move of solidarity with its rival, Expedia is openly burying AA's listings and prices to teach a little lesson.
We'll see who gets the upper hand on this one. We'll see which airlines jump in as a show of solidarity with AA.
P.S. Sympathies to all you holiday travelers out there trying to get home. All the New York area airports just had their reopenings from the blizzard delayed indefinitely. They were supposed to reopen at 4pm today (Monday). Thanks for spending your down time reading my blog.