Sabre responded to American Airlines’ lawsuit to stop Sabre from using its New Airline Storefront display. The suit was “a knee-jerk response to press releases about innovation that AA couldn’t control.” “
Sabre responded to American Airlines’ lawsuit on July 23,, stating that “AA has resorted more to litigation than innovation because it is afraid of falling further behind.” “
American claims that Sabre’s New Airline Storefront(NAS) displays bias GDS search results in favor of Delta. American is seeking to stop the NAS display from being used. American also wants a Texas court blocking Sabre’s payment of travel agent incentives for Delta tickets with a higher value than American tickets.
American claims that Sabre’s agreement with Delta, which helped develop the NAS display, breaches American’s contract under the GDS. This incentivizes travel advisors to sell Delta premium products rather than American’s.
With a palpable fear of falling further behind, AA has resorted to litigation rather than innovation. – Sabre
Sabre claims it did not breach any contract with American. Sabre responded that a new storefront was an important priority for agents and airlines due to the complexity of airfares. Sabre argued that the NAS display is transparenter than other search displays, as it reveals more information.
Further Sabre stated that it offered AA “a similar value-based fees agreement” for travel agent incentive programs. It is not clear why AA is complaining that the Delta deal is biased in its favor. “
Kristin Hays, Sabre’s senior vice president for global communications, stated that Sabre denied the allegations of American and would defend the lawsuit.
“It’s clear that AA doesn’t have a lot of interest in moving the travel industry forward, transforming it or innovating,” she stated. “Rather, AA is taking steps — such as this lawsuit — in order to limit innovation for consumers and increase transparency. It is false to claim that Sabre’s New Airline Storefront favours Delta’s products more than AA’s. This innovative approach has the real benefit for the consumer. They now have more transparency and can do comparison shopping, as airlines offers become more complex. “
American stated in a statement that it supports the lawsuit. The carrier stated that it is not against distribution systems with greater transparency but does not believe Sabre is achieving this goal.
“American has asked Sabre for new technologies in line with industry standards. These technologies are used by other global distribution networks,” American stated. “Sabre has not yet implemented this technology. However, we are hopeful that they will eventually do so and catch up to other distributors. The new Sabre display is not able to provide accurate and transparent information for consumers. It also, as American’s lawsuit alleges, is incomplete and biased. “