Among airline website bookers, a majority (57%) typically also shop for travel on supplier websites. Yet the remaining 43% do not use supplier website when shopping – meaning that four in 10 are making purchase decisions elsewhere. Most often, these channel switchers are using OTAs to make their decisions.

Over half of airline website bookers typically use OTAs when shopping for travel. In fact, 22% of airline bookers shop on OTAs without hitting supplier websites. Consequently, an airline risks losing one out of five of its own website bookers if it pulls completely out of OTAs. Flying solo is therefore a very risky proposition. American Airlines' break with Orbitz and recently resolved impasse with Expedia are well-publicized examples of how heated the relations between airlines and intermediaries can get. Ultimately though, however much airlines want to control distribution, consumer preferences secure a spot for OTAs in the air distribution landscape.

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