Airlines all over the world to varying degrees are pursuing direct-booking strategies. Is JetBlue's decision to remove its flights from CheapOair and OneTravel an isolated dispute or are Expedia and Priceline next on JetBlue's target list?
Online Travel This Week
Has JetBlue embarked on a Southwest-like distribution strategy with the goal of pushing hard for direct bookings and depriving online travel agencies of the airline's flights and fares?
Fareportal, the parent of online travel agencies CheapOair and OneTravel, filed an antitrust lawsuit against JetBlue on January 5, the day the airline removed its flight content from Fareportal's businesses. [See the lawsuit embedded below.]
Fareportal, which is minority-owned and among the top three U.S. online travel agencies based on airline bookings. alleged that JetBlue is trying to impede price-conscious flyers from comparison shopping for airfares so it can raise fares over the long-term on East Coast routes such as New York, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Boston, Los Angeles, and San Juan, where it has substantial strength.
Fareportal said it had signed a term sheet with JetBlue to implement a New Distribution