Airlines vs. Online Travel Sites
If you’ve been following the brouhaha in the media about the war between online travel shopping sites like Orbitz and Expedia and American Airlines, you’ll be interested to hear what the National Business Travel Association has to say. American wants to stop paying the global distribution fees associated with those sites and have passengers book directly with them. As a result, American’s flights are no longer sold through Orbitz and Expedia, decreasing their value as a one-stop shopping site. According to experts in the travel industry, If other airlines follow, it could alter how travelers book their flights, and ultimately, how much they pay.
The NBTA has been making a lot of noise about the situation. They’ve published several white papers condemning the action, and added a session on the topic to their Masters Program meeting on Feb. 7-8. Their point is that American’s action is threatening competition in the marketplace, and that the business traveler will ultimately foot the cost. That’s us and our attendees, of course. Let’s hope it doesn’t come down to that. What do you think?
Ann Turner, Editor
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Ann Turner has been a part of the special events and meetings industry for more than 20 years, as a corporate planner, editor and writer, and enthusiastic follower of all things hospitality. She welcomes comments and feedback.