American Airlines Leaves Orbitz Standing at the Gate

Effective immediately, if you want to fly American Airlines, don’t try to book your ticket at orbitz.com.

American Airlines announced today that they’re no longer dealing with Orbitz, although they will continue to offer tickets through Travelocity, Expedia, Priceline, and other travel websites.

Why are they dropping Orbitz? In a word, money. Whenever an American ticket was booked through Orbitz, the airline paid a ticketing fee to the site, as well as a booking fee to something called a “global distribution system,” or GDS – a service that supplies the prices and schedules to agents. The distribution system that Orbitz uses is owned by company called Travelport, which also owns a controlling interest in Orbitz.

Apparently American thought that Travelport was making too much money, although they managed to say it in speech so vague that you can barely understand it. From American’s recent press release

“While we could not reach an agreement with Orbitz, we are committed to letting customers know of the multitude of options they have to purchase travel on American Airlines,” said Derek DeCross, a vice president at American. “In today’s competitive marketplace, it is important for American to be free to customize its product offerings to improve the customer experience as well as distribute its products in a way that does not result in unnecessary costs.”

American has been threatening to pull it’s business from Orbitz for weeks. In a conference call back on Nov. 4, Orbitz CEO Barney Harford said…

“American Airlines has publicly expressed its intention to force agencies to connect directly to its systems in order to access its content… By taking this action, American is attempting to limit travelers’ choices when they can least afford it.”

Will these two kiss and make up? Will American once again offer tickets through Orbitz? I, for one, could not care less. What is interesting, however, is that although American said that they’re not dealing through Orbitz effective immediately, as I write this, they’re still showing up on the Orbitz website.

Sign up for our free newsletter

Like this article? Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you a regular digest of our newest stories, full of money saving tips and advice, free! We'll also email you a PDF of Stacy Johnson's '205 Ways to Save Money' as soon as you've subscribed. It's full of great tips that'll help you save a ton of extra cash. It doesn't cost a dime, so why wait? Click here to sign up now.

Check out our hottest deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1102 more deals!

Comments & discussion

We welcome your opinions, but let’s keep it civil. Like many businesses, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. In our case, that means those who communicate by name-calling, racism, using words designed to hurt others or generally acting like an uninformed bully. Also, comments that include links to email addresses or commercial websites typically aren't posted. This isn't a place to advertise your business.