The fight between travel agencies and flight operators continues as Expedia Inc, one of the top travel websites, began hiding American Airlines fares from its initial searches this week.
Expedia, which offers fares of several airlines carriers on a comparison basis that helps customers to pick the best option, has now introduced an extra step that requires customers to particularly choose American Airlines to see the fares.
This has been done in light of both American Airlines' recent decision to prevent Orbitz from selling its inventory, and a possible disruption in Expedia's ability to sell American Airlines tickets when our contract with American Airlines expires, Expedia said on Friday in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg.
American Airlines, the third largest carrier in the U.S., pulled its data from Orbitz Worldwide Inc as a part of a legal dispute.
Airlines carriers are trying to direct more traffic to their own websites instead of online travel agencies such as Orbitz or Expedia.
American Airlines expressed disappointed about Expedia's actions in an emailed statement to Bloomberg.
This discriminatory action is unwarranted, especially considering that American has taken no action against and continues to operate in good faith with Expedia, Ryan Mikolasik, a spokesperson for the Airlines said.
Air travel continues to get more chaotic and confusing in the U.S. given the new security rules by the TSA and hidden charges in flying by every airline.
Low cost airlines have begun charging passengers for everything from meals, checking in their baggage as well as choosing particular seats or the time at which the seat is chosen.
The latest conflict adds to travel woes for customers who find it easier to compare prices and choose the best offer on sites such as Expedia or Orbitz, which also include options to book a car, a hotel or other options at one shot.
Earlier in December, Delta Airlines terminated three online travel sites as its authorized travel agents.