American and Orbitz come-ish to terms-ish

In a move which is not particularly surprising American Airlines and Orbitz came to an agreement on Friday which sees the airline’s flights once again for sale on the Orbitz website. The move comes a few days after American pulled the inventory, citing a contract dispute. The carrier updated its website on Friday to note the new details on the relationship.


American Airlines Group also no longer plans to remove US Airways fares from Orbitz on Sept. 1 as previously announced. The companies are working toward final agreements based on the letter of intent.

Sam Fulton, president of, noted in a statement that:

We are pleased that our long-standing relationship with American Airlines allowed us to quickly resolve business matters and that we continue to offer a broad range of options, including American Airlines and US Airways flights, to the millions of shoppers who book travel on our global sites each day.

This is by no means the end of the story. The current relisting of fares is based on a letter of intent, not an formal agreement to new terms. Seems that both the airline and the OTA realized that they were causing troubles for consumers with the fight they chose and have come to some semblance of a compromise in the interim.

From a consumer perspective this is good news, though still not the end of the fight. It is just a letter of intent and the two have a history of fighting over distribution costs and options. Hopefully the net result is that consumers get better access to fare options and that the cost of providing such remains reasonable to the airline. But no guarantees that happens.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.