American Airlines fails to stop Sabre from using new display

A state court in Texas has denied American Airlines’ request for a temporary injunction that would have prevented Sabre from using its New Airline Storefront display in GDS search results. 

Tarrant County judge Tom Lowe issued the denial on Oct. 27 after a hearing in the previous week. He offered no explanation of the denial.  

American’s case against Sabre will continue to move toward trial. 

The airline sued Sabre in June, contending that its New Airline Storefront, which the GDS developed with assistance from Delta Air Lines, biases search results toward Delta in violation of Sabre’s contract with American. 

In its response, Sabre denied the breach-of-contract allegation and said a new storefront was a priority for airlines and agents because of the increasing complexity of airfares. The NAS display is more transparent than previous search displays because it reveals more information, Sabre argued.

In addition to seeking to block Sabre from using the NAS display, American wants the court to prevent Sabre from paying travel agent incentives on high-value Delta tickets that are larger than those paid on similar American tickets.

Under the new contract that Sabre and Delta entered into this summer, Delta jettisoned the flat segment fees that are standard within the airline-GDS commercial model. Instead, Delta is scaling the amount it pays Sabre for a booking based upon the value of that booking.

Travelport subsequently entered into a similar arrangement with Delta.

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