Is Delta Air Lines Shunning Online Travel Agencies?
Delta Air Lines appears to be taking its bookings in-house.
The Atlanta-based carrier has removed its flight information from several online travel agencies (OTA), including behemoth TripAdvisor.com, and they’re not happy about it.
The Travel Technology Association, a trade group representing TripAdvisor, CheapOAir and Hipmunk, among others, is appealing to the Department of Transportation to take the matter under consideration and has sent a detailed report — 63 pages in all — to the government agency.
The story was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Travel Tech’s report, prepared by Charles River Associates, questions whether Delta — and other airlines, for that matter, should be required to make their flight information available to all travel sites for the sake of competition and transparency when searching for air fares.
ExpertFlyer.com was one of several OTAs Delta stopped providing flight information. The website recently posted this on its blog:
“Delta has requested that we no longer offer to you any information on ExpertFlyer pertaining to Delta. Since our inception almost 10 years ago we have accessed Delta information through a GDS where they publish information for the benefit of various travel providers. We have always done this with the full knowledge and tacit approval of Delta. However, there now appears to be a change of thinking at Delta where this is no longer the case."
The statement continued, "To be clear, this action is not unique to ExpertFlyer. Delta has recently been removing their data from many websites, both booking and non-booking, in an attempt to force as many travelers as possible to only use delta.com and their apps for Delta information. In our many conversations with Delta it was made clear to us that their new policy is that any service or website that is not explicitly authorized to show Delta data will be forced to stop, especially any that screen scrape data from delta.com or any Delta partner or agency website. Our many attempts to forge a new agreement for the display of this information on ExpertFlyer with Delta have been rejected.”
Delta told the Wall Street Journal it will “continue partnering with a limited, but responsive and adaptable group of online retailers.”
More by Rich Thomaselli
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