I just received an email from American Airlines stating that American Airlines flights were no longer bookable on Orbitz.com.
Here are the details of the notice:
As a customer who has purchased an American Airlines ticket through Orbitz in the past, we want to let you know our fares are no longer on orbitz.com. You can still find American Airlines and US Airways fares through other online and brick and mortar travel agencies.
To book future travel on American Airlines or US Airways and easily search for our lowest available fares with no online booking fees, visit us on aa.com. Only on aa.com will you find convenient booking options, online check-in, flight status notifications, and the ability to earn AAdvantage® miles on flights, hotels, cars and more – providing an all-in-one experience from booking to takeoff. You can also add options like Main Cabin Extraseating to your itinerary, giving you up to six inches of additional leg room.
For more information, visit aa.com/orbitz.
While I generally tend to advise booking directly with the airline in the first place, one of the advantages Orbitz had was the free 24-hour cancellation policy on all bookings. Flights booked on aa.com do not have a free 24-hour cancellation policy (they have a free 24-hour hold).
While this notice isn’t a drastic change that affects me in a major way, it definitely limits American flights that would be booked in an Orbitz “vacation package” (that you could sometimes use great discount codes with and/or OrbitzReward dollars).
While I understand American’s reasons for parting ways (cancellation policy confusion, paying a commission to the 3rd-party online travel agency, etc), I would imagine this means American would lose a specific customer base – those who turn to OTA to piece together all of the travels in one place.
Does this news impact you and the way you book your travel? Would love to hear other thoughts.