Seatrade Cruise News is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

After doing away with marine fares, American Airlines may be reconsidering

American Airlines is rethinking a policy that did away with marine fares which are so important to the cruise industry
American Airlines signaled it's rethinking a 2023 move that withdrew marine fares, which are important to the cruise industry.

AA had pulled 40% of its lowest fares from most booking platforms used by travel agencies.

'Painful increase'

Crew acquisition management costs without marine fares makes for a 'painful increase,' especially as American Airlines is such a big player in Miami, a cruise line CEO told Seatrade Cruise News when the new policy came out a year ago.

This week Simple Flying reported AA CEO Robert Isom is evaluating, attributing the carrier's weak first quarter performance, in part, to changes in distribution strategy that prevented many travel agencies including corporate travel management companies from accessing the lowest fares.

Global Marine Travel hails the news

This news was hailed by Global Marine Travel, a leading marine industry travel provider.

'For us and our crew members and cruise line passengers to reopen these conversations is extremely welcomed,' GMT founder and Managing Director Tim Davey said. 'Many customers have switched alliances during this time and AA is recognizing it. We’ll wait and see how they change but the acknowledgment of the need to change is huge and welcomed.'

AA's corporate business lagged following the change

According to Simple Flying, AA's managed corporate travel business had grown just 'mid to high single digits' while competitors Delta Airlines and United Airlines reported a 14% increase in this sector in the first quarter, and two other carriers had even higher increases year over year.

Davey indicated GMT's shift in business away from AA to its competitors mirrored the figures reported by other carriers.

The GMT chief doubts American Airlines will reverse everything but said 'The fact they recognize they need to rejig and re-embrace the cruise and travel agent community takes guts.'