American Airlines And The Online Travel Agency Debate
January 6, 2010 - American Airlines and the online
travel agencies want the American people to be a part of
this big debate between American Airlines, Orbitz,
Expedia and now Sabre Travel. None of these companies
appear to be open and honest with the American people as
to what the real issues are and how this will impact
travelers. They toy with the American people with press
release after press release offering no substantive
information, just finger pointing.
In December American Airlines reported in a press release it had discontinued displaying and selling fares through Orbitz, citing, “failure to reach a mutually beneficial commercial agreement.” American Airlines stated it had ended services with Expedia as a result of Expedia website began discriminating against American's flights and schedules by listing them lower in the search display than those of other airlines.
Wednesday morning Sabre reported in a press release that for a
number of months, American Airlines had taken actions in an
attempt to impose a costly, unproven and unnecessary system on
agencies and corporations, including withholding fare content
believe these actions are harmful to our agency and corporate
customers, as well as consumers, making it harder and more
costly to comparison shop.
Sabre is taking actions to protect its interests and those
of its customers by supporting airlines who value the
transparency and efficiency of the proven system we provide.”
Wednesday afternoon American Airlines in response to Sabre’s
press release earlier in the day stated, “American Airlines
today received notice from Sabre that it has taken a set of
punitive actions against the airline and its customers, despite
the fact that American has met all its obligations and continues
to work in good faith with Sabre.
“The actions, which include biasing its shopping displays, are anti-consumer, anti-competitive and harmful to its subscribing agents. Sabre's actions are discriminatory and patently inconsistent with both its contractual obligations and its professed goal of ensuring full transparency for the benefit of consumers and travel agents.
contrast, the actions only serve to protect Sabre's market
position and attempt to force airlines and travel agencies to
rely exclusively on its legacy systems that only lead to higher
fares and fewer choices for consumers.”
Blah Blah Blah.
For now it appears there is no debate, “full transparency”, just kids in
wet diapers. To articulate and solve problems the facts need to be
clear. Many of our readers are concerned with the number of Americans
who will go to bed tonight without having eaten a warm meal, or the
number of families trying to figure out how they will make ends meet.
These press releases are nothing more than a three-card monte, that is
who can shuffle the cards the best and hide the truth.
One of our readers
informed us that they had booked a flight with an air carrier, it so
happened to be a flight with American Airlines. For whatever reason the
reader was unable to make the flight and later in the day contacted the
airline and questioned whether he could get a refund on the purchase
price of the ticket. The reader stated that he was told no.
“What about the taxes I paid on it, I should at least get that back,” he
said to the American Airlines customer service agent. He again was told
no. He then asked, “What happens to the taxes that I paid on this
ticket?” The reader states the agent could not give an answer.
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