Published on Wednesday, August 31, 2011

American Airlines reaches last-minute deal with Sabre

American Airlines has reached a last-minute deal with Sabre Travel network so agents can continue booking the airlines' flights on the global distribution system until a legal battle between the two parties is resolved.

Sabre had threatened to pull the plug on the US airline after their existing contract expired today, wiping its fares from its screens, after American filed an anti-trust claim against the global distribution system in the US courts.

However, Sabre has agreed to extend the existing full-content agreement until 14 days after a resolution of American's anti-trust claim. As no date has been set for the hearing, the case is expected to last until well into 2012.

American spokesman Ryan Mikolasik saidl. "This agreement ensures continued access to American's content through the Sabre GDS as we continue to pursue our claims in court."

At issue are fees that American and other airlines pay the GDSs to display flights and make bookings. American wants more of its travel partners, such as travel agencies and websites, to connect directly to American's own reservations system, which would save booking fees.

Sabre and American have been involved in several lawsuits since January, when Sabre temporarily made it more difficult for travel agents to find American's fares.

The two companies have since tried and failed to negotiate a new contract.

By Linsey McNeill

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