American to sell tickets through Priceline

By Reuters
Posted Jan. 18 at 8:52 a.m.

American Airlines, which is battling third-party ticket sellers over distribution costs and methods, Tuesday said it has reached a deal with to use American’s direct connect technology to access fares.

American, a unit of AMR Corp, said Priceline will begin issuing its tickets through the link in the near future. The companies did not disclose terms of the deal.

The agreement follows a dispute between American and Orbitz Worldwide, in which Orbitz refused to use American’s direct connect link and American stopped selling its tickets on Orbitz sites.

Expedia Inc later dropped American Airlines’ tickets from its listings, charging that the airline’s new commercial strategy is “anti-consumer” and “anti-choice.”

American is steering third-party sellers toward its in-house technology that the airline says will save it money and allow customers to shop for flights based on factors other than just fares. Airlines derive an increasing portion of their revenue from travel-related perks and items such as bag checks, meals and priority seating.

Earlier this month, the airline won a court order temporarily blocking Sabre Holdings Corp. from presenting its fares in a manner the carrier fears might steer customers to other airlines.

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