Update: Delta confirmed that it gave notice to CheapAir, Vegas.com, AirGorilla and Globester that the airline would no longer participate in their websites after Jan. 7, 2010, and of its distribution policy the airline stated: “Delta continues to evaluate its online distributors, and intends to be more selective in its use of online travel sites in the future.”
The airline added: “Delta‚Äôs customers will continue to have full access to all of Delta‚Äôs products and services at¬†delta.com and other ticketing outlets. Delta.com is the only place customers have access to Delta‚Äôs best fare guarantee, and a complete listing of all optional products and services, including checked baggage, in-flight WiFi and travel by unaccompanied minors.”
The original post follows:
Delta Air Lines is continuing its distribution purge.
The airline, which last month removed its flights from CheapOAir, BookIt.com and OneTravel, did likewise late last week on CheapAir.com, Vegas.com, AirGorilla and Globester.
Delta apparently is in the midst of a wholesale revamping of its online distribution policy as it strives to differentiate its product and drive more traffic to Delta.com.
Of the quartet of second-tier online travel agencies that saw Delta’s flight listings disappear last week, most specialize in vacation packages.
BookIt.com CEO Bud Finlaw said recently that Delta’s decision wasn’t part of a contract dispute and the online travel agency received just two days’ notice of the then-pending action.
Most of these OTAs on Delta’s hit list apparently access Delta inventory through a GDS and the airline has an option to discontinue distributing to OTAs at Delta’s discretion.
The New York Times first reported that Delta was removing its flights from the four websites.
One key question looming is whether Delta will graduate from targeting second-tier OTAs and put some household-name OTAs on its hit list.