ATLANTA, May 21 (UPI) -- Several discount travel websites have raised concerns that Delta Air Lines is cutting off consumers after the carrier removed flight and fare information from their listings.
Delta removed fare and schedule information from more than a dozen sites, including TripAdvisor, Hipmunk and CheapOair.com, saying it never authorized the use of the information, according to the Travel Technology Association trade group. Industry insiders say it's part of a broader plan by many airlines, including United and American, to restrict the flow of information. Carriers want consumers to use their own sites which indicates they may start charging intermediaries, such as the discount websites, for the data. It could mark a move from fare-comparison websites to make it easy for airlines to indiscriminately raise prices.
"Delta has been the most egregious, but this is about the large carriers leveraging their market dominance to restrict and selectively choose the winners and losers—and the losers are the American public," Bryan Saltzburg, head of flight search at TripAdvisor, told the Wall Street Journal. "We are far from the only company impacted from this. We just feel strongly enough to talk about it."