Texas court ruling blow for Travelport

Texas court ruling blow for Travelport

A US federal court in Texas has dismissed a Travelport anti-trust claim against American Airlines.

However, at least two other legal cases in a long-running battle between American and global distribution systems (GDS) Travelport and Sabre remain pending.

The Travelport case in Texas was filed as a counter-claim to an American Airlines anti-trust suit against the GDS owner and online travel agent Orbitz. A federal trial date for this has not been set.

A separate case brought by American against Sabre is scheduled for mid-October also in Texas.

In dismissing Travelport’s counter claim, the judge ruled: “The competitors in these markets are airlines and the consumers are travel agents and passengers. Travelport is neither.”

Travelport argued American had withheld fares and product from its GDSs to force retailers to access fares via the carrier’s own Direct Connect system.

An American Airlines spokesman said: “We are pleased by the court's decision dismissing Travelport's claims against American.

“These were meritless claims intended to take the focus off the anti-competitive conduct of Travelport and Sabre.

“We remain open to amicably resolving our claims against the defendants, but absent an agreement, we will continue to pursue our legal rights.”

A spokesman for Travelport said: “The Court did not reach the substantive merits of Travelport’s allegations, but dismissed the claims on legal grounds.

“The Court held that Travelport was not the appropriate party to bring these claims because the alleged harm caused by American would be ‘suffered primarily by travel agents and passengers.’ Essentially, the Court held that Travelport was not the appropriate party to defend consumers

“We are analysing the opinion and our options.”


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