When American Airlines emerges from bankruptcy, either in the arms of US Airways, Delta Air Lines or on its own, perhaps American's direct-connect push will have been overtaken by the course of events.
But, what ever happened to that American Airlines-Expedia distribution and direct-connect -- if you can call it that -- agreement of April 4, 2011, which saw the airline's flights return to Expedia.com with the pledge that Expedia would transition to using American Airline's direct-connect "via integration services provided by a GDS," according to American Airlines.
Was it merely a face-saving gesture?
That direct-connect via global distribution system integration services -- whatever that means -- apparently is still not in place, but American Airlines remains upbeat about the whole thing.
As upbeat, that is, as a carrier facing reorganization, hostile takeover pressure and much larger strategic questions can be.
“We are optimistic that the pace of the direct connect integration with Expedia will soon improve,” a spokesperson for American Airlines says.
A spokesperson for Expedia wouldn't comment on the issue other than to say: "We don't discuss individual supplier relationships."
Expedia's just-signed agreement with Amadeus for GDS services in North America may have raised some eyebrows around the direct-connect issue.
With Sabre, Expedia's primary GDS in North America, adamantly opposed to direct-connect, perhaps Amadeus would provide these "integration services" for Expedia to the American Airlines direct-connect?
Amadeus declined to comment, and the Expedia spokesperson would only say: "Ultimately, we entered into this agreement with Amadeus because we believe in a multi-GDS strategy."
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