American Airlines’ direct-connect strategy is shifting toward the leisure side and away from the corporate.
Two years ago, American had direct-connect agreements with Priceline, Expedia, HRG and American Express. Only the Priceline direct connect is in operation at the moment. American began selling its Preferred Seats (seats at the front of the economy cabin) through Priceline last summer. Priceline also sells Main Cabin Extra, American's seats in coach with extra legroom.
The direct connects with American Express, HRG and Expedia did not materialize, according to an American spokesperson.
However, American has direct connects with “many other agencies” beyond Priceline, the spokesperson said.
These direct connects are “primarily leisure-focused” and cover online and offline agencies around the globe. Most are in the U.S., but American has live direct connects on four continents, the spokesperson said.Follow Kate Rice on Twitter @krtravelweekly.