Airline and Travel Company Agree on Travel Information Technology

After American Airlines said about three months ago that it wanted to bypass the central reservation system that now delivers information to online travel agents like Expedia and Orbitz, and instead deliver that information directly, American and Expedia have ended a disagreement over fees and how the travel information should be delivered, according to the New York Times and other news sources.

Effective immediately consumers will be able to find Airline fares on the Web sites of Expedia and its affiliate, Hotwire.

 One industry analyst said the development was good news for Expedia to regain inventory of one of the largest airlines. And American regains access to a travel agency that accounted for more than 5 percent of its sales in 2010. 

A direct connection distribution technology that American developed would eventually tailor offers to a traveler's individual needs, like more legroom. Using its own direct system would reduce the fees American pays to list its fares on travel agents' sites.

But Expedia did not want to use the new technology. Expedia chose not to renew its contract with American when the contract expired on Dec. 31.

Expedia, however, will initially use the existing global distribution system technology under the recent agreement between the companies.

The online travel company will eventually gain access to American's fares, schedules and travel products through American's direct connect technology, using aggregation technology provided by a global distribution system, which would eventually allow for more customized offers.

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