American Airlines to cut online sales options

Kayak.com, a Web site which helps people find and compare fares on 337 carriers may soon lose listings for American Airlines

Erick Schonfeld posted on TechCrunch (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/07/23/trouble-in-online-travel-american-airlines-ditches-kayak-maybe-orbitz-too/) that AA has decided to pull its information from Kayak and may do the same with Orbitz. 

“Airlines don’t like the booking sites because they have to pay them a referral fee for every ticket they sell, as opposed to capturing the full fare when travelers book on their individual sites,” he reported.  Continental and Northwest could be the next airlines to follow, Schonfeld added.

Now, Kayak and the others only pay a few dollars to the airlines when they help sell a ticket.  But, in an environment where some think the next thing the airlines will charge for is access to the lavatories, well trying to sell all your own tickets and saving a few bucks makes some sense.

By the way, Kayak.com has posted a useful guide to the airlines’ fees, including baggage costs, meals availability and the costs of flying pets.  See it at http://www.kayak.com/airline-fees.

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