Things have come a long way since American pulled its flights from Expedia.com a few years ago. Yesterday, Expedia Inc. announced that it has entered into an expanded partnership with American that will enable it to offer paid seating options to customers shopping and booking travel through select sites within the Expedia, Inc. brand portfolio. The new options, which begin late this year, will include the ability to sell Main Cabin Extra (extra legroom) seats as well as “preferred seats” that are in prime cabin locations.
In an era of unbundling, I like having access to more information on pricing and the ability to buy up to better seats if I choose to, no matter what method I’m using to purchase tickets. While only tacitly related, I noted in a post a few months ago that the lack of pure information sharing between airlines and online travel agencies could lead to customers buying things they had not planned on. In my case, I was looking to use Chase Ultimate Rewards to pay for a Delta ticket. Chase was trying to sell me a basic economy fare that I had no interest in purchasing. I would not have known had I not looked at Delta.com where the fare information was disclosed clearly. It’s good to see an airline and an online travel agency find a way to make more of the options one can purchase from an airline available.