NEW YORK (MainStreet) – The travel wars have a new player: car rental companies.
Enterprise Holdings, which owns Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Alamo Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental, announced yesterday that it would end its relationship with Orbitz starting April 1. In a statement on Wednesday, Enterprise said that it had been in negotiations with Orbitz to add its flagship brand to the travel site when Orbitz said that it had decided to drop Alamo and National (which were already available for booking through the site) and accept only the Enterprise brand. Enterprise responded by cutting off negotiations, and pulling its entire 1 million-strong fleet from Orbitz.
In the statement, Enterprise also cited Orbitz’s “unacceptable commission rates” as motivation for severing the relationship.
If this story sounds familiar, it’s because similar disputes have already been brewing between travel sites and airlines. In December American Airlines terminated its agreement with Orbitz, and shortly thereafter the airline’s flights were pulled from travel site Expedia after a dispute over booking fees and price transparency.
For now Enterprise’s fleet is still available for booking through competing sites like Travelocity, so consumers still have options. But if negotiations between travel sites and service providers continue to go sour, it won’t be long before consumer choice begins to be impacted.
—For the best rates on loans, bank accounts and credit cards, enter your ZIP code at BankingMyWay.com.