Orbitz makes white-label push through iSeatz distribution dealNewsBy Dennis Schaal | April 6, 2010Share This article was originally published on Orbitz Worldwide is making a hoped-for big push into the private-label distribution business through what it describes as an exclusive partnership with iSeatz, which provides technology and ancillary-merchandising solutions to clients including Delta Air Lines, Air France-KLM and Amtrak.The partnership is exclusive in the sense that Orbitz WorldWide "is now the exclusive distributor of iSeatz ,'s travel-related technology and services," an iSeatz spokeswoman says.Using the Orbitz API, iSeatz customers will get access to Orbitz Worldwide's global hotel inventory, as well as other products, including car rentals and attractions, which they can cross-sell to customers within their respective booking paths.The iSeatz website also lists Southwest, Air Canada, CitiBank and MasterCard as clients of its travel and entertainment solutions.With the agreement, Orbitz Worldwide replaces Priceline as the iSeatz inventory source for hotels and car rentals, although iSeatz will retain relationships with suppliers such as OpenTable and Ticket Network Direct.For Orbitz Worldwide, the multiyear deal is a way to broaden its global footprint and distribution reach beyond its own properties and affiliates, and a means to go after the white-label market, competing against Travelocity's and Expedia's offerings..Orbitz spokesman Brian Hoyt says the company will use its user interface and merchandising prowess to work with iSeatz clients to customize the way they cross-sell ancillary products from within their booking paths.So, is this agreement big for Orbitz?"It depends what they do with it," says Tom Botts, managing partner of Hudson Crossing. "It's more the potential than the size of the numbers now."Although Orbitz will be providing iSeatz's clients with a variety of inventory from the Orbitz WorldWide supplier base, hotels are key, Botts says."To the extent that you get partners to sell hotel inventory for you, that's a huge advantage even if it's at a reduced margin," adds Botts, pointing to reduced customer acquisition costs.An iSeatz spokeswoman says its business model doesn't change with the Orbitz deal.A significant aspect of the partnership, the iSeatz spokeswoman says, is that "iSeatz and Orbitz will be working together going forward to rapidly capture market share by offering an immediately deployable, clearly superior solution to what incumbents and would be competitors currently offer."