American Airlines is pulling AA, US Airways fares from Orbitz sites

By Terry Maxon The Dallas Morning News

American Airlines announced Tuesday it has pulled its fares off websites powered by Orbitz, “effective immediately.” US Airways fares will come off as of Monday, Sept. 1.

“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,” AA president Scott Kirby said in American’s announcement.

“While our fares are no longer on Orbitz, there are a multitude of other options available for our customers, including brick and mortar agencies, online travel agencies, and our own websites,” Kirby said.

Beyond that, the press release made no explanation of why American had taken the action.

Other particulars:

Tickets already issued through Orbitz aren’t affected.

Changes to tickets issued through Orbitz have to be handled by American’s reservations people.

The pullout doesn’t affect corporate clients who use Business by Orbitz.

Just to check, we went to the Orbitz booking engine to see what flights were available Wednesday between Dallas and Miami, a route upon which American operates 10 flights a day each direction. Sure enough, Orbitz listed no AA flights.

Orbitz Worldwide shares were down 66 cents, or 7.8 percent to $7.77 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

This isn’t the first dispute between American – one of the airline founders in 2000 of Orbtiz before its later independence – and Orbitz. American pulled its fares off Orbitz in November 2010 in an earlier dispute.

In its 2010 annual report, Orbitz said that American “tickets booked on our and Orbitz for Business sites, including ancillary revenue from associated hotels, car rentals, travel insurance and destination services revenue, represented approximately 5 percent of our total net revenue.”