American Airlines wins court order over Sabre

American Airlines jetAmerican Airlines fares and schedules should be displayed as normal on global distribution system Sabre after the carrier won a temporary court order in the US.

A Texas court issued a restraining order against Sabre on Monday, requiring it drop measures implemented last week which saw it downgrade American Airlines flights on displays.

However, retailers may continue to pay additional charges to book American flights via Sabre as well as through rival GDSs Galileo and Worldspan, both owned by Travelport.

American is now locked in battle with three of the industry’s four GDS systems and two of the biggest US online retailers, Expedia and Orbitz, as it seeks to drive traffic though its own Direct Connect link to its booking system.

A ruling on American’s request for a permanent restraining order against Sabre is expected within three weeks, ahead of a full hearing of the carrier’s case for damages against the GDS. However, American also faces a case brought by Travelport over its withdrawal of fares from Orbitz – expected to start next month.

In a statement, American said it would “vigorously pursue litigation against Sabre, including seeking damages for violations of our agreements”.

However, Sabre Travel Network vice-president Chris Kroeger told Travolution: “We believe the actions we have taken are within our contractual rights.”

Kroeger added: “It’s their intention to impose a system on customers.”

UK travel management association the GTMC accused American of “trying to circumvent intermediaries”.

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