American Airlines jabs Orbitz on YouTube

Judging from the latest American Airlines commercial on YouTube, the chances of an American Airlines content agreement with Orbitz Worldwide in the short-term are very slim.

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, but you can find all of them on

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

Indeed, American Airlines’ flights are missing on, 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.

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Dennis Schaal

About the Writer :: Dennis Schaal

Dennis Schaal was North American editor for Tnooz.



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  4. Peter Harders

    @hhotelconsult: I don’t have the video (yet) but have this image saved where AA used the art of subtlety against Orbitz and Expedia.

  5. hhotelconsult

    PLEASE COPY THE AD AND UPLOAD – someone? please?

    As for Orbitz’s Hoyt… yeah. I am going to trust transparency talk from a guy who’s twitter handle is @spindoctorhoyt.

    It’s ludicrous…. trust the spin doctor. Typical OTA BS.

  6. @CravenTravels

    Ooops ad just ran on FOX News 7:10pm EDT hours after injunction was in place…

  7. hhotelconsult

    Did anyone download the ad? It won’t appear now that the injunction has gone through. Video is private now. I am trying to download cached stuff as we speak.

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  9. Alexandra

    I just used Orbitz and found a much cheaper flight on! Way to go American Airlines!


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