JetBlue to End Ticket Sales Through 12 Travel Booking Websites

by Daniel McCarthy
JetBlue to End Ticket Sales Through 12 Travel Booking Websites

Photo: JetBlue


JetBlue will no longer sell its tickets through 12 online travel agencies (OTAs) as part of the first phase of a new restructure program.

Instead, JetBlue will try and push travelers to book direct through its website. According to the airline, customers’ booking direct “allows the airline to reduce costs and keep ticket prices low.”

The OTAs include SmartFares.com, MyFlightSearch.com, WhatsCheaper.com, and other lesser-known sites. Big names such as Expedia, Priceline, and Travelocity will still be allowed to sell JetBlue tickets.

According to JetBlue Executive Vice President for Commercial and Planning Marty St. George, the “overwhelming majority” of the airline’s ticket sales already come from its own website. JetBlue also guarantees that the lowest fare will always be available on its website or through a GDS rather than a third-party OTA.

While JetBlue promotes other benefits of using its website—access to promotions, easy seat upgrades, more manageable itinerary changes—recent studies suggest otherwise.

A government report by the General Accounting Office (GAO) from last year found that airline websites lack transparency and ease of use—the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) received a total of 17,904 complaints of which 862 (about 5 percent) were regarding airline fees for optional services.

In the case of preferred seating, fee information “is not always apparent to customers on airlines’ websites, unless the customer selects or begins to book a specific flight,” GAO said.

The websites aren’t rated much better by consumers, either. In a survey of 1,000 travelers published earlier this year by UserTesting, most airline websites, including JetBlue, scored low because of difficulty consumers experience getting information. 

  6
  1
Tip of the Day
Daily Top List

Five Places to Go for Spring Travel

1. Carlsbad, Calif.

2. Aspen, Colo.

3. Kauai, Hawaii.

4. Cabo San Lucas

5. Washington, D.C.

Source: Forbes

TMR THIS WEEK
http://services.travelsavers.com/AMGService.svc/REST/GetImage?ImageID=c0a45578-7841-e811-ba59-782bcb66a2f2

Why Is Watching ‘Jane Peel Potatoes’ More Exciting than What You’ve Got to Say?

Sponsored by Travel Planners International.

Video is here to stay and travel agents who embrace it are reaping the rewards. 

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Southwest Cancels Dozens of Flights as FAA Orders Engine Inspections
Southwest Cancels Dozens of Flights as FAA Orders Engine Inspections

The news comes after the deadly accident aboard one of its flights last week.

Southwest Airlines Steps Up Engine Inspections Following Deadly Accident
Southwest Airlines Steps Up Engine Inspections Following Deadly Accident

This week’s tragic accident puts an end to a nearly decade-long stretch of zero fatalities aboard commercial flights on U.S. carriers.

'60 Minutes' Exposé About Allegiant Stirs Up Agents and Industry Officials
'60 Minutes' Exposé About Allegiant Stirs Up Agents and Industry Officials

Both the airline and the FAA are under scrutiny regarding questions raised of airline safety compliance and enforcement.

What Is the Duty of Travel Agents Regarding Airline Safety Issues?
What Is the Duty of Travel Agents Regarding Airline Safety Issues?

Travel professionals must increasingly take precautions to disclose critical information about air travel to consumers, and then let them make their own decisions.

New Airlines Set to Shake Up International Travel
New Airlines Set to Shake Up International Travel

A new crop of startup carriers is seeking to challenge the status quo in the airline industry, both in the U.S. and abroad.

Agents React to Air Canada’s New Fare Structure
Agents React to Air Canada’s New Fare Structure

With the introduction of five economy fares, the carrier has added to the growing challenge for Canadian agents, that of explaining multiple fare options to consumers.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Luxury Retreats