US Air Pulls Tickets From Expedia

from the beating-back-the-middlemen dept

In the early days of internet commercialization there was all this talk about how it was going to cut out the middlemen. Then, people began to realize that middlemen often (though, certainly not always) serve a purpose in aggregating options for buyers and sellers. Now, however, some industries are beginning to rebel against the more successful middlemen. Already we’ve seen hotels try to take back inventory control from travel booking websites, and now, it looks like more and more airlines are doing the same. US Air has now announced that they’re pulling their flights off Expedia after Expedia started charging a higher booking fee on US Air flights. In this case, it might just be a contract dispute like last year when Northwest Airlines briefly pulled themselves off Expedia and Travelocity. However, the airlines may be pushing for a bit more control themselves. Most of the major airlines have continued to struggle in the recent past, while “discount” airlines like JetBlue and Southwest have thrived. Some people at the top of the other airlines must also be noticing that JetBlue and Southwest don’t offer their fares on Expedia or the other travel sites, but concentrate on selling tickets directly from their own websites. If that trend continues, it could pull the power away from the travel aggregators and move it more to the airlines themselves. It could also mean that travel search engines like Qixo become more popular than travel aggregators like Expedia.

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