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Expedia a step closer to ditching TripAdvisor

Expedia a step closer to ditching TripAdvisor Jun 22nd, 2011 at 9:00AM: Travel industry ... welcome to high finance! By the end of the year, online travel agency Expedia is expected to spin off its TripAdvisor unit in an initial public offering, according to MarketWatch. And, the deal could be worth as much as $4 billion. Think about it: all those hotel reviews you've written, photos you've posted and advice you've sought could be worth as much as Facebook...

American Airlines and Orbitz tangled in antitrust battle

American Airlines and Orbitz tangled in antitrust battle Apr 14th, 2011 at 3:00PM: The online travel agency battle continues ... and it's getting ugly. The latest move comes from American Airlines, which is suing Orbitz and Travelport for alleged anticompetitive behavior. So, what started in November as a battle over fare distribution has escalated into an antitrust war. Through the end of the year, Orbitz and American Airlines fought it out, ultimately winding up in court,...

Five business travel challenges for small companies to overcome

Five business travel challenges for small companies to overcome Feb 17th, 2011 at 11:00AM: Regardless of economic conditions, owning and running a small business isn't easy. It's always tough to find clients, allocate your funds effectively and maximize your bang for the buck. And, business travel is a big part of this. When you go out on the road, you know you're committing some serious cash to the endeavor, and you want to make sure you get as much value out of it as possible. Part...

Not knowing wife's name gets her stuck in China

Not knowing wife's name gets her stuck in China Feb 10th, 2011 at 3:30PM: When you take the SAT, you get 200 points for spelling your name right. Ever wonder why? Well, you should ask Wen Ling Lian and her husband, Robert Schlund. Lian left Wayne, Michigan for China, on a trip to visit her family. While in flight, she saw that her name had an "e" stuck on the end of it. Though not a problem in the United States, she knew it would be when she tried to leave China later....

Judge blocks Sabre, gives American Airlines a break

Judge blocks Sabre, gives American Airlines a break Jan 11th, 2011 at 8:00AM: I guess it would make sense for American Airlines to turn to litigation. After all, this approach worked well against Orbitz. Here's the situation: the battle between airlines and online travel agencies escalated from the beginning of November – with American's announcement that it would pull out of Orbitz – through the new year. The latest move was by global distribution system...

Five reasons why you're wrong about American Airlines and the booking battle

Five reasons why you're wrong about American Airlines and the booking battle Jan 7th, 2011 at 11:00AM: Everyone seems to think this is about the passengers. It's not. In true airline industry fashion, nobody cares about the customer. Okay, now that I have your attention, an analyst note from Avondale Partners was sent to me last night. While most people don't get excited about this sort of thing, I have to admit that I still do. Nerdy, maybe. Insightful ... in this case, it definitely is. The...

Sabre tells clients of American Airlines drop, booking war is scorching

Sabre tells clients of American Airlines drop, booking war is scorching Jan 7th, 2011 at 9:00AM: Okay, we all saw this coming. The battle that was expected between airlines and online travel agencies as a result of improving market conditions has reached a high level of intensity, centered on American Airlines (with Delta playing a supporting role). The situation is running deep, as both American and Delta have stepped back from online travel agencies (though for slightly different...

Sabre pushes American Airlines down, "all out war" [BREAKING]

Sabre pushes American Airlines down, Jan 5th, 2011 at 3:00PM: And, the developments just keep coming. The latest in the airline booking battle is that global distribution service Sabre has given American Airlines a bit of a shove nudge. According to a statement from the Business Travel Coalition, "Sabre took steps to protect the interests of an independent travel distribution system from American Airlines' (AA) attempt to impose a new model that heaps huge...

American Airlines is talking to Expedia and Orbitz (about the WRONG stuff)

American Airlines is talking to Expedia and Orbitz (about the WRONG stuff) Jan 5th, 2011 at 1:00PM: American Airlines isn't giving up. Despite having pulled out of Orbitz and been booted by Expedia, the company says it's still talking to the two online travel agencies and is hopeful for a resolution. According to Dow Jones, these are "active discussions" and that American Airlines is "comfortable" with booking results. Nonetheless, American is still betting on Direct Connect as its preferred...

Can travel booking sites endure the airline onslaught?

Can travel booking sites endure the airline onslaught? Jan 4th, 2011 at 12:00PM: American Airlines wanted out of Orbitz ... and then it was bounced by Expedia (preemptively, it seems). Delta wanted out of CheapOair ... and OneTravel ... and BookIt. Nobody knows what's next, but it appears that something is on the horizon, given the magnitude of change in the airline/online travel agency landscape over the past few weeks. I wrote a month ago that a "brand war" was brewing, a...

Expedia suspends sale of American Airlines flights [BREAKING]

Expedia suspends sale of American Airlines flights [BREAKING] Jan 1st, 2011 at 9:30AM: I just heard from a spokesman for Expedia a few minutes ago that it has suspended the sale of flights by American Airlines. Expedia revealed the following to Gadling: "We have been unable to reach an agreement with American Airlines due to American Airlines' new commercial strategy that we believe is anti-consumer and anti-choice. American Airlines is attempting to introduce a new direct...

Lies, discrimination and combat: American Airlines claims sales increase post-Orbitz

Lies, discrimination and combat: American Airlines claims sales increase post-Orbitz Dec 30th, 2010 at 2:00PM: Yesterday, American Airlines announced that it was thanking its customers for their continued loyalty to the airline. It was a fairly predictable move, following the airline's decision to pull out of Orbitz ... which was followed quickly by Expedia's making it more difficult to find American Airlines fares. At the same time, the company engaged in a bit of chest-thumping – again, expected...

Is American Airlines making a "reckless rodeo bet"?

Is American Airlines making a Dec 24th, 2010 at 9:00AM: American Airlines' decision to pull out of Orbitz has triggered a war in the travel industry, as airlines and online travel agencies vie for ownership of the customer. The latest step was Expedia's decision to minimize the exposure of American Airline options in searches on its site, likely a play to reduce the risk of a move by American to pull out of Expedia, too. According to a statement by...

Expedia demotes American Airlines, airline booking war gets HOT

Expedia demotes American Airlines, airline booking war gets HOT Dec 23rd, 2010 at 3:30PM: Could the battle between airlines and online travel agencies have gotten any more intense? This week, American Airlines got the green light in court to yank its fares from Orbitz, and Delta announced that it was pulling out of several smaller sites – CheapOair, OneTravel and BookIt. Travel industry experts are saying it's about time, but that doesn't lessen the shock to the business,...

When airlines pull out of travel websites, who loses?

When airlines pull out of travel websites, who loses? Dec 22nd, 2010 at 11:00AM: It's been a busy week. The action with airlines and online travel agencies has been brisk, and in the end, it affects you as much as it affects them. Sure, there's plenty of money involved for the travel sites and the airlines, but in the end, it all comes down to what you experience during the buying process. These changes – with American Airlines and Orbitz and Delta and CheapOair –...

Orbitz weighs in on American Airlines ruling [BREAKING]

Orbitz weighs in on American Airlines ruling [BREAKING] Dec 21st, 2010 at 7:00PM: American Airlines is out of Orbitz as of today. This ends a legal tangle with Travelport that was initiated back in November when the airline announced its intention. According to a statement from Orbitz, "It is unfortunate that as of December 21, American Airline flights will no longer be available on our Orbitz.com and Orbitz for Business sites. We are confident that our consumer value...

Judge sides with American Airlines in Orbitz pullout [BREAKING]

Judge sides with American Airlines in Orbitz pullout [BREAKING] Dec 21st, 2010 at 5:30PM: The verdict is in! In the legal battle between Travelport and American Airlines over the latter's decision to pull its inventory out of Orbitz, Judge Martin Agran decided in favor of American Airlines. Orbitz has been ordered to stop selling the airline's tickets and displaying its fares. American announced last month that it would be withdrawing its inventory from Orbitz as early as December...

Exclusive Insight: Why hotels lost ground online

Exclusive Insight: Why hotels lost ground online Dec 17th, 2010 at 8:00AM: Yesterday, you probably saw that hotels are getting hit pretty hard by online travel agencies, as customers have been hunting for deals aggressively. The latest data from PhoCusWright puts branded hotel websites at 54 percent of the online channel, down from 59 percent two years ago. And a few weeks ago, we took a look at the competition between online travel agent and airline brands as we head...

Hotels get beat up on the web as online travel agencies score deals

Hotels get beat up on the web as online travel agencies score deals Dec 16th, 2010 at 1:30PM: Hotels were doing a great job of selling online before the recession hit. But, thanks to a healthy dose of innovation and greed, the global economy has been in rough shape, forcing those still traveling to hunt for deeper discounts and bigger deals. Unsurprisingly, this led to relatively strong market conditions for the online travel agent sector, particularly in the hotel space. For the hotel...

Cheap tickets still exist, despite airfare inflation

Cheap tickets still exist, despite airfare inflation Dec 9th, 2010 at 1:00PM: Is it really getting more expensive to fly? Earlier this week, the Department of Transportation revealed that ticket prices were up 13.1 percent year over year for the second quarter of 2010, a stunning increase – though tempered by the fact that fares actually fell 13 percent year over year from the second quarter of 2008 to the second quarter of 2009. If nothing else, this does raise...

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