Wednesday, December 10, 2003

US Airways yanks tickets off Expedia

The Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Va. - US Airways Group Inc. has yanked its tickets off Expedia, bitterly complaining that the Internet's leading travel site would have forced its passengers to pay more money.

The Arlington airline pulled its listings from the Web site late Monday after Expedia began charging US Airway customers $8.99 a booking, up from $5. Expedia still charges $5 to book flights on other carriers.

"We are disappointed that Expedia made a unilateral decision that has forced our customers to pay a higher fee to purchase US Airways tickets," Ben Baldanza, a US Airways senior vice president, said in a statement.

Baldanza said Expedia is the most expensive of its online distributors, and the airline would not permit its customers to be singled out for higher fees. "We cannot allow them to differentiate, and we won't," he said.

Expedia, a unit of New York-based InterActiveCorp, and US Airways said the scuffle is related to disagreements over a new contract that would replace another that expired in June. Expedia said it hoped to work things out with the airline.

A spokeswoman for Expedia declined Tuesday to discuss the contract differences with US Airways or the status of the talks.

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