Travelers can no longer book Frontier Airlines tickets through Expedia. The Denver-based carrier announced Monday they're removing all their fares from the online travel agency (OTA) and encouraging fliers to book directly at FlyFrontier.com.
"Frontier and Expedia were unable to reach agreement to continue offering Frontier schedules and fares on the online travel agency’s website," Frontier Airlines spokesperson Kate O'Malley told NBC News in an email. She said she didn't have specifics on why a deal couldn't be reached.
"Fares were removed after the contract expired this weekend," she said.
Fliers can still book Frontier tickets through Orbitz, Travelocity and Priceline. "At this point, we have no plans to remove our fares from other sites," said O'Malley.
The latest salvo in the online travel booking wars comes five months after Frontier started punishing those who booked on other sites by charging higher fees, giving only half the normal frequent flier miles, and not letting them get advance seating assignments.
Other carriers have tussled with OTAs in the past. Southwest and Allegiant only allow passengers to book online directly at their sites. In December 2010, American Airlines pulled its fares from Orbitz in a contract dispute. Following a judge's order, the fares returned in June 2011.
There's clear incentive for Frontier to rely less on third-party sites to bring in customers,according to The Associated Press, which showed it costs the airline $20-$26 in commissions to process an itinerary booked through an external OTA compared to $1.60 for bookings directly through its website.
To encourage travelers to book directly, the company simultaneously announced a fare sale for tickets as low as $39 -- a fare they can only take advantage of on the airline's website.
"Customers can still compare our low fares on other travel sites, but will always get the best value with Frontier when they book directly at FlyFrontier.com," said O'Malley.