National and Alamo have been offered on Orbitz websites for years, but Enterprise wasn’t.
Enterprise Holdings and Orbitz Worldwide had been negotiating for a contract renewal after the previous one ended late last year, but were unable to come to terms.
In an interview on the Elliott blog, Pam Nicholson, the president and chief operating officer of Enterprise Holdings, says the company unsuccessfully push Orbitz to add its third brand, Enterprise, to Orbitz websites and Orbitz was demanding an unacceptably high commission for Enterprise bookings.
Orbitz declined to comment on the specifics of the negotiations standoff, but stated that it decided to replace National and Alamo with Dollar and Thrifty.
“Orbitz and Enterprise Holdings were unable to find mutually agreeable terms for continued promotion of Enterprise brands on Orbitz.com and CheapTickets.com after the previous contract expired,” Orbitz says. “Orbitz has replaced Enterprise Holdings with other suppliers that better serve the needs of our customers.
“Moving forward, we will continue to give customers choice among a robust selection of car rental options — including Hertz, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Thrifty, Advantage and other leading suppliers — that will fully meet travelersâ€™ needs.”
This wasn’t the first dust-up between Enterprise Holdings and Orbitz. Enterprise-Vanguard sued Orbitz in 2008, alleging breach of contract for failing to display Alamo and National in the first car rental matrix display page on Orbitz and CheapTickets.
The pending loss of Alamo and National on Orbitz websites April 1 is at least a public relations blow to Orbitz in terms of its perceived comprehensiveness following American Airlines’ decision in December to remove its flights.
Like Orbitz’s dispute with Enterprise, the American Airlines squabble had economic overtones. But, American Airlines and Orbitz also could not agree over a technology issue — American’s insistence that Orbitz begin using direct-connect technology.
There’s apparently no technology issue involved in the Orbitz-Enterprise battle.
Orbitz says it will continue to distribute Enterprise brands through Orbitz for Business and the private label channel.