The online airfare wars escalate as American files suit against Sabre in an attempt to force American’s “direct connect” initiative. With battle lines clearly drawn, can American Airlines win the real or PR war where going back to a closed system is concerned? Not likely, but the story is never the less interesting. Who will take American’s side is the burning question of the day?
The shakeup for air travel bookings online continues today with American Airlines’ contention that their ticket sales have never been better – even without Orbitz and Expedia. The airline neglects to point out an email marketing initiative instigated simultaneously with dumping Orbitz, and the fact that ticket sales for every airline have risen these last few days. What is the customer to make of supposedly trusted travel partners when low blows are the trend?
Travelport and Orbitz sue American Airlines over intended breakup of ticket sale deal. American wants exclusivity and no competition, while online travel companies demand choice for their customers. In what appears to be a move in protest of Travelport’s Southwest deal, AA aims to leverage their position. Meanwhile, Orbitz stocks tumble when they can afford it least.