Enterprise car brands to be absent on Orbitz after negotiations impasse

First American Airlines left Orbitz Worldwide websites in December and now sister brands National Car Rental and Alamo are slated to bid adieu April 1, although the issues appear to be disparate.

National and Alamo are part of car-rental behemoth Enterprise Holdings, which also offers its flagship Enterprise brand.

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 travelers’ 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.

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Dennis Schaal

About the Writer :: Dennis Schaal

Dennis Schaal was North American editor for Tnooz.



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  1. Dennis Schaal

    Dennis Schaal

    Timothy: As I noted in the story, Orbitz will still distribute Enterprise brands through Orbitz’s white label partnerships.

  2. Timothy O'Neil-Dunne

    There is a hidden dark side to this which is not going to make some people happy.

    Orbitz has a number of deals to be a white label provider for example to Alaska Airlines. This leaves Alaska in a difficult position. It will need to make things more competitive to its customer base.



    • Jonathan

      I don’t think this is applicable to private label biz. See the last line in the article:

      “Orbitz says it will continue to distribute Enterprise brands through Orbitz for Business and the private label channel.”


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