Court orders American Airlines flights back on Orbitz

Consumer Reports News: June 02, 2011 11:53 PM

An Illinois court ruled this week that American Airlines must list all of its flight information on the Chicago-based travel website Orbitz. The airline had previously listed such information with Orbitz, until it pulled all listings last December amidst disputes between the two companies.

This is the latest chapter in an ongoing battle between American Airlines and travel websites. American is trying to shift sales to its website, and thus eliminate the fees associated with tickets sold through sites such as Orbitz.

Before this latest update, the Texas-based American Airlines had previously taken Orbitz to court in that state, claiming that the travel site was using monopoly tactics. At that time, Orbitz told the press that American was trying to limit customer choice and reduce competition. American filed a similar suit against Expedia, which resulted in that website dropping American flights from its listings. In the Texas case against Orbitz the judge had decided that American Airlines flights should come off the website. This latest ruling reverses that decision.

In a statement Orbitz said:

“This reinstatement of American Airlines full schedule of flights on and Orbitz for Business is a win for transparency, consumer choice and for all of our mutual customers.”

In other airline news, a recent report revealed that money generated from fees on passengers has become a cash cow for airlines. Higher fees have become common, while airfares stay competitive.

Orbitz Statement on Travelport Injunction Against American Airlines [Orbitz]
American Airlines Ordered to Put Flight Fares on Orbitz [New York Times]
American Must Return to Orbitz [Wall Street Journal]
American Airlines hits Orbitz with antitrust suit [Los Angeles Times]

Maggie Shader

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