Direct connect dispute — American Airlines to pull flights off Orbitz Dec. 1
Barney Harford, president and CEO of Orbitz Worldwide, blasted American’s threat to remove its flights from Orbitz Dec. 1 as “a broad attack by American on the distribution landscape.”
Speaking during Orbitz’s third quarter earnings call, Harford says Orbitz continues to negotiate with American over the issue, but believes the airline’s actions are designed to fragment content, limit consumer choice and force travelers to bear American’s distribution costs.
Harford said GDSs play an essential role in negotiating with airlines on behalf of travel agencies and that a direct-connect approach would serve to fragment content. Although a public company, Orbitz Worldwide is controlled by Travelport, which operates the Galileo and Worldspan GDSs.