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It Looks Like United and Expedia Are Breaking up for Good

It Looks Like United and Expedia Are Breaking up for Good
Jackie Reddy

A tiff between travel company Expedia and United Airlines has led to the former to claim that the latter’s fares might soon no longer be available on its website. In a suit filed against United, Expedia claims that United’s action is an attempt to strong-arm the terms of its contract with the site.

Expedia has claimed that United Airlines fares may soon no longer be available on its website, Skift reports. Expedia alleges that this move is an expression of the carrier’s dissatisfaction with the renegotiation of the terms of its ticketing agreement with the website.

Making its claims in a sealed lawsuit, Expedia states that customers’ access to United flights booked for travel after October 1st could be removed as early February 11th. As the outlet states, the root of the conflict between United and Exepdia is a tangled one.

“It is difficult from the redacted complaint to decipher the precise cause of the underlying conflict between the two parties. But it appears to hinge around Expedia’s access to publicly available fares after their agreement would expire,” explains Skift.

The carrier explained its stance in a statement quoted by the outlet.

“For months, Expedia has refused to engage in constructive discussions with United about a new contract and United currently expects that our fares will not be listed on Expedia sites in the U.S. and Canada effective Oct. 1, 2019,” it said.

“Out of concern for the growing number of customers at risk, we sent Expedia a letter last week, months in advance of the expiration date, formally notifying Expedia that United intends to prohibit Expedia from booking tickets for travel October 1 and beyond,” United added.

However, Expedia claimed that United is attempting to muscle the website to amend its current agreement with the carrier. This arrangement between the two parties has existed for seven years.

An extract of the filing states, “While United may ultimately choose to enter into a new commercial agreement with Expedia when the term of the current Agreement ends, it has no right to breach the existing Agreement and to unilaterally inflict harm on Expedia and its customers as a negotiating tactic.”

In reply, United said, “In their filing, Expedia doesn’t explain how they’ll protect customers from this potential service disruption…It reveals that Expedia’s lawsuit is more about their ability to make money off their customers than it is to serve them.”

[Image: Flickr/sporst]

View Comments (3)

3 Comments

  1. sdsearch

    February 7, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    Only on the Expedia site, or all the sites it owns? (The linked Skift article doesn’t make it clear.) Per Wikipedia: “Expedia Group is an American global travel technology company. Its websites, which are primarily travel fare aggregators and travel metasearch engines, include CarRentals.com, CheapTickets, Expedia.com, HomeAway, Hotels.com, Hotwire.com, Orbitz, Travelocity, trivago, and Venere.com.” So does that also mean, for example, that United flights also be removed from Orbitz?

  2. j2simpso

    February 7, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    Drats! Will need to find another TA to book my Basic Economy flights so I can choose my E+ seating for free!

  3. brp1264

    February 9, 2019 at 8:55 am

    What about business travelers who have to use Egencia?

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