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AA Postpones Preferred Agency Program

American Airlines confirmed that it has postponed the launch of its new preferred agency program, which calls for travel agencies to process a growing percentage of transactions through New Distribution Capability-based connections.

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Kerby: Airline’s move grounds booking competition

In less than a month, millions of American Airlines customers will no longer receive AAdvantage rewards unless they book directly through AA owned or preferred channels. This is the latest move by the airline to force travelers to use booking tools that lead to reduced consumer choice, fluctuating prices, and record airline profits.

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Global Travel Advisor Groups Raise Concerns around American Airlines’ Anti-Competitive Actions

The World Travel Agents Associations Alliance (WTAAA), Association of Canadian Travel Agencies and Travel Advisors (ACTA), and Foro Latinoamericano de Turismo (FOLATUR) have joined the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) in sounding the alarm about American Airlines’ latest ploy to force travelers to use AA’s new, proprietary booking tool that leads to reduced consumer choice and higher costs.

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American Expands Its War Against Travel Agents to Now Punish Travelers

It is no secret that American wants everyone to book directly with the airline. It has said that travelers prefer the direct booking experience better, but it has begrudgingly allowed travel agents to continue selling tickets at the same fares as long as they adopt the newer NDC standard. Since it was going to allow agency bookings to continue, it tried to benefit by paying lip service to the idea that travelers should be able to book where they want to book. Last week’s news that American will no longer allow non-preferred travel agency bookings to earn miles shows that American is done pretending that’s the case.

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