US Airways, Expedia resolve dispute

FRAMINGHAM (12/26/2003) - After a two-week standoff, US Airways customers can again buy their airline tickets through online travel company Expedia.com.

The two companies have apparently resolved the differences that led Arlington, Virginia-based US Airways Group Inc. to pull its ticket sales from Bellevue, Washington-based Expedia.com's Web site on Dec. 11.

The dispute began just before Thanksgiving when Expedia unilaterally increased its ticketing fee by US$3.99 for US Airways flights. The operating contract between Expedia and US Airways to sell tickets on the Web site expired June 30, but both sides had continued to negotiate and work under the old terms of the deal until Expedia raised the fee without notifying US Airways.

The $3.99 fee was in addition to the $5 charge customers are assessed for buying airline tickets on the site. The extra fee was being charged only for US Airways tickets, which caused the airline to pull its ticket offerings from Expedia until the dispute was resolved.

Details of the new agreement weren't disclosed.

"We want as many online shoppers as possible to have access to our broad network of service in the eastern U.S. and the Caribbean, and our partnership with Expedia helps us achieve that goal," B. Ben Baldanza, US Airways senior vice president of marketing and planning, said in a statement.

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