Things are really getting ugly now. Sabre, an online distributor that provides fares to booking sites, has announced it will drop American Airlines fares from its system when its contract expires in August, and until then, the carrier's fares won't be as prominently displayed in search results as they have been. And the cruel irony for American is that the airline played a key role in starting Sabre. That's gotta hurt.
All this comes on the heels of another blow to American last weekend, when Expedia announced it was dropping the airline from its site after American pulled its fares from Orbitz. Expedia cited American's "anti-consumer" and "anti-choice" commercial strategy in its decision. And now Sabre is following suit in an apparent don't-mess-with-us-because-we-all-stick-together move.
So, what does this mean for you? Will American be forced to compensate by lowering fares on its website in order to entice you to book directly, or does it spell the beginning of the end of self-service fare comparisons that will result in higher fares for everyone?