American Airlines jabs Orbitz on YouTube
Take a look at the American Airlines’ commercial, entitled “A Whole World is Missing:”
Actually, the ad isn’t limited to YouTube but is part of a nationwide cable campaign. The spot appears on entertainment, sports and news channels including CNN, TNT, Discovery, MSNBC and ESPN.
The airline is declining to release budget details about the nationwide campaign.
In the commercial, American Airlines notes that its schedules — 3,400 flights per day — are missing on Orbitz.com, but you can find all of them on AA.com.
American Airlines removed its fares from Orbitz Worldwide websites last December after refusing to establish a direct-connect with the airline, and Travelport, which has a majority stake in Orbitz, pays Orbitz extra incentives to forego such arrangements.
The rancor is indeed very strong when an airline chooses to attack a former partner in a video.
Especially when American Airlines is one of the founders of Orbitz.com.
Indeed, American Airlines’ flights are missing on Orbitz.com, but, then again, Orbitz displays thousands of flights from other airlines which can’t be found on American’s website.
Asked to comment on the American Airlines campaign, Brian Hoyt, an Orbitz spokesman referred to a statement CEO Barney Harford made May 5 about the company’s earnings during the first quarter of 2011.
“… We continue to be able to replace much of, in fact nearly half of, the American Airlines ticket share through substitution for other airlines offered on our websites,” Harford said. “And from a consumer value proposition perspective, onsite search volumes for air have held firm year-on-year indicating that consumers continue to find significant value in our offering.”
Hoyt added: “Given this fact, it is not surprising that American Airlines would go down this path as their strategy continues to cost their company business as many consumers choose to book with the hundreds of other airlines available on Orbitz.”
Just another day in the life of the airline-global distribution system-travel agency distribution wars.
Dennis Schaal was North American editor for Tnooz.