Travelport pays Orbitz not to deal with American Airlines

Travelport has confirmed it is rewarding online retailer Orbitz for not dealing direct with American Airlines.


Technology giant Travelport has agreed to pay financial incentives to Orbitz as part of the bitter spat between it and the US carrier. The agreement between the companies, filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on February 1, refers to “segment incentives” and “benefits” to be paid by Travelport “relating to the absence of ticketing authority on American Airlines”.


Travelport owns global distribution systems Worldspan and Galileo, as well as a controlling stake in Orbitz, and is in a dispute with American over the US carrier’s insistence on driving booking traffic through its own web-based Direct Connect facility. The pair are due to resume a court battle in the US next month.


The Travelport-Orbitz agreement refers to incentives payable to the retailer so long as it does not “consummate a direct connect relationship with AA” or “engage in discussion that is reasonably likely to result in a direct connect relationship”.


Travelport has also agreed to compensate Orbitz for any decrease in traffic as a result of American withdrawing its fares from the site.


In addition, Orbitz will benefit “as long as the audit committee of the [Travelport] board of directors does not determine the company [Orbitz] is engaged in a discussion with any airline that is reasonably likely to result in a direct connect relationship and the company has not consummated a direct connect relationship with any airline”.


Travelport said in a statement: “This is an agreement that is mutually beneficial to both Travelport and Orbitz Worldwide.” The company declined to comment further.

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