It is relatively rare that contract disputes between online travel agencies and airlines reach the public domain unless they are at a breaking point. We'll undoubtedly hear more about this soon.
[UPDATE: Expedia said United threatens to move some of its flights from Expedia’s sites starting February 11. Read more here.]
Expedia Group has filed a lawsuit against partner United Airlines growing out of a contract dispute.
The civil complaint, filed in Southern District of New York Monday, is under seal.
As of Monday afternoon, United’s flights were still available on Expedia.com.
It is relatively rare that contract disputes between online travel agencies, on the one hand, and airlines or hotel, on the other, reach the public domain unless they are at a breaking point.
Airlines have gone missing on online travel agency websites in the past. One of the more high-profile disputes involved American Airlines and Orbitz Worldwide, which tangled over distribution costs and direct-connect issues starting in 2010. Orbitz took a substantial financial hit from the skirmish, which dragged on before being resolved in 2014.
An Expedia Group spokesperson decline to comment about its complaint against United. A spokesperson for United Airlines, citing pending litigation, wouldn’t comment.
Although the cases are likely unrelated, Ryanair and Expedia are locked in a lawsuit in the State of Washington, with Ryanair alleging that Expedia accesses Ryanair’s flight schedules and fairs without permission.
Photo credit: A United Airlines Boeing 737 Max. Expedia sued United over a contract dispute. United Airlines