Inside these posts: Online travel agencies

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Orbitz says it will defend self against American suit

Orbitz Worldwide Inc. said Wednesday that it will vigorously defend itself against a lawsuit filed by American Airlines, which is in a dispute with the online travel company over commissions. Get the full story »

Expedia shares gain on TripAdvisor spin-off plan

Shares of Expedia rose 13 percent Friday as analysts hailed the online travel agency’s TripAdvisor separation plan as a way to unlock potential value. Get the full story »

Enterprise pulls rental cars from Orbitz

An Enterprise Rent-A-Car office at 849 Roosevelt Road in Lombard. Enterprise will no longer offer car rentals through Orbitz. (Carl Wagner/Tribune)

Orbitz Worldwide Inc. will stop selling auto rentals from Enterprise Holdings’ brands from April 1, after the online travel agent became embroiled in another contract dispute with a leading vendor.

Enterprise, the world’s largest auto rental company through its eponymous brand and Alamo and National units, said Tuesday it was ending its relationship with Chicago-based Orbitz “after months of difficult discussions.” Get the full story »

Orbitz names replacements for outgoing directors

Online travel company Orbitz Worldwide Inc. said Friday that it named Robert Friedman and Kristina Leslie to its board in the wake of resignations from directors Paul Schorr IV and William Cobb. Get the full story »

Online travel agencies score big with shoppers

Online travel agencies remain a big hit with shoppers, new survey data show, but the sites’ popularity could fade if contract battles with airlines leave them with fewer airfares to lure bargain-chasing consumers, researchers warned.

With airfares soaring and the economy stuck in the doldrums, consumers continue to flock to travel sites to plot dream vacations and research deals and steals, a market that’s expected to total $104.6 billion in 2011, according to market research firm PhoCusWright Inc. Get the full story »

Orbitz, other sites sue North Carolina over taxes

From The Triangle Business Journal | Chicago-based online travel agency Orbitz and four other online travel sites have filed suit against recent changes in North Carolina law designed to close a loophole that has allowed such companies to avoid paying millions in hotel occupancy taxes.

American-Orbitz fight leads to UBS downgrade

Shares of American Airlines parent AMR Corp. dropped more than 3 percent on Tuesday after UBS downgraded the carrier to “neutral” from “buy,” saying the company’s efforts to cut distribution costs with online travel agencies could hurt profits. Get the full story »

American Airlines holds ground in Sabre spat

American Airlines sparred with third-party ticket sellers on Wednesday in an ongoing battle over distribution costs and methods as one key provider of airfare data vowed to stop offering the airline’s flight information.

Privately held Sabre Holdings Corp operates a global distribution system that provides information on airfares to travel agencies like Travelocity. The company said it would end its distribution deal with American in August — a month before the end of its contract.

The company said it would discontinue price discounts on American Airlines tickets that have stimulated sales. The airline is also at odds with Chicago-based online travel agency Orbitz Worldwide and last month stopped selling tickets on Orbitz. Get the full story »

American seeks deal with Orbitz, Expedia

(Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)

AMR Corp.’s American Airlines said Wednesday it is still in talks with online travel agencies Orbitz Worldwide and Expedia to reach a deal that would put AMR fares back on those travel websites.

The airline, which is leading a charge among U.S. carriers to lower its distribution costs, last month stopped selling flights on Orbitz and Orbitz for Business. The move came after an Illinois court denied a request for an injunction filed by Travelport LP, which owns a 48 percent share in Orbitz, seeking to prevent American from pulling its flights.

AMR shares were up 4.4 percent at $8.46 in midmorning. Get the full story »

American still talking to Orbitz about listings

American Airlines says it’s talking to Orbitz and Expedia about resuming the listing of American flights on the travel websites. Get the full story »

Orbitz shares drop after American tickets pulled

The shares of online travel agencies Orbitz and Expedia fell on Monday after Expedia dropped American Airlines tickets from its offerings.

Expedia called its weekend action a response to the airline’s new “anti-consumer” and “anti-choice” commercial strategy.

Expedia shares fell 3 percent to $24.32 in midmorning trading while Orbitz shares slid 0.7 percent to $5.55. Get the full story »

Expedia hides American flights in support of Orbitz

Expedia is hiding pricing information for American Airlines flights on its Web sites in a display of solidarity with Chicago-based Orbitz Worldwide Inc., which is enmeshed in a contract dispute with the nation’s #3 carrier.

The online travel giants are warring with American over the airline’s attempts take greater control of the way it sells tickets and other services.

The new contract terms the Texas-based carrier seeks would drive down its costs and impose new technology on agencies like Orbitz and Expedia and the global clearinghouses that provide the ticket data they peddle over the Internet, analysts said. Get the full story »

Orbitz names new Chief Technology Officer

Orbitz Worldwide Inc. on Monday said that it has named Roger Liew as senior vice president and chief technology officer. Get the full story »

Orbitz launches free mobile apps for booking travel

Orbitz Worldwide Inc. has launched free mobile applications for the iPhone and Android platforms that allow users to book hotels, flights and rental cars.

In addition, the Chicago-based online travel company has updated its mobile Web site, which has been live since July but whose debut went unannounced. Get the full story »

Orbitz shares tank on threat from American

Shares of online travel agency Orbitz Worldwide Inc. tumbled 18 percent on news that American Airlines has threatened to stop selling tickets on Orbitz sites.

Orbitz said American, the fourth-largest U.S. airline, was threatening to pull its content if the travel agency did not use a direct link to the carrier’s inventory instead of a global distribution service, which negotiates prices. Get the full story »