Sabre prevented from downgrading fares

American Airlines wins temporary restraining order to stop GDS move

Sabre has been prevented from downgrading its listing of American Airlines flights in its GDS after American Airlines won a temporary restraining order. As reported, Sabre joined the battle last week against American Airlines’ efforts to impose its ‘Direct Connect’ strategy. The GDS opted to downgrade information on the airline in most of its displays, though not those in the European Union, and eliminate discounts on booking fees.

American Airlines subsequently filed a lawsuit claiming that Sabre’s actions violated agreements between the two companies and harmed the airline, travel agents and the public. A statement issued by the airline said: “We are gratified that after a contested hearing the court has granted American’s request for interim relief, to be in effect until the court considers American’s request for longer-term relief.” The battle between American and the GDSs began when the airline attempted to force Orbitz to use its Direct Connect system.

Apart from the perceived loss of transparency in search results, GDSs argue that Direct Connect would involve connection costs and result in a reduction in segment fees and GDS incentives from American.

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