At the core of the issue is the contract that a number of airlines are trying to impose on metasearch brands in order to improve their visibility when a user looks for fares and, inevitably, the likelihood of them booking with the carrier. Whilst there are lots of options for an airline to improve their position in metasearch engine results, such as paid placement in ad units and so on, carriers are looking – in the words of one insider – for a more “heavy-handed tactic”. The practice in question goes to the heart once more of the direct-vs-intermediary battle being played out publicly in the hotel industry – airlines want to “own the customer”, so therefore want to stop travellers booking with an online travel agency. Get the full story at Tnooz Read also "Consumer Reports: The right online route for cheapest airfares" at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and "IATA sees record profits of US$40bn for airlines this year" at the Taipei Times