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August 26, 2014

American pulls its fares from Orbitz

American Airlines announced it has pulled its airfares off of online travel website, Orbitz.

The Fort Worth-based carrier said it will also withdraw US Airways fares from the website on September 1. Corporate customers who use Orbitz for Business are not affected by the change, American said.

"We have worked tirelessly with Orbitz to reach a deal with the economics that allow us to keep costs low and compete with low-cost carriers," said American president Scott Kirby in statement.

At issue are the fees American and other airlines pay travel reservation systems to display flights and make bookings. American has wanted more of its travel partners, such as travel agencies and websites, to connect directly to American's system to save the airline booking fees.

Shares of Orbitz dropped 4 percent by 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, trading around $8.10.

Tickets previously purchased on Orbitz are still valid for travel on American but any changes to the reservations will be need to made directly through American, the carrier said.

In 2013, American and Orbitz settled a lawsuit that dated back to 2010 when American pulled its fares off Orbitz because the website refused to use a direct connection to American's reservations system. Orbitz' parent company, Travelport operates the Worldspan and Galileo global distribution systems.

UPDATE: Orbitz spokesman Chris Chiames issued this statement on Tuesday afternoon.

"American Airlines has notified Orbitz Worldwide that as of today, its flights will not be available on Orbitz sites.  Our sites offer hundreds of airlines which are eager to capture the revenue American is choosing to forego and we will continue to show our customers a broad range of flight options to thousands of destinations in the U.S. and worldwide."

 

-Andrea Ahles

 

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