Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sabre joins American Airlines ticket spat

Sabre Holdings Group said Wednesday that it will stop distributing American Airlines' inventory of airline tickets and other goods to travel agents this summer, escalating the battle over how air travel is sold by third parties.

Sabre, which runs the world's major clearinghouse for travel transactions, intends to end its contract with American in August, a month ahead of the termination date. In the meantime, Sabre is ending discounts it had provided to the Texas-based carrier, while also making American's fares more hard for travel agents to find than those of other carriers.

The moves turn American's battles to gain greater control over its fare data into an outright war with some of its closest delivery partners, analysts said. Processing more than 1 million transactions per minute during peak times, Sabre's travel network was built by American Airlines in 1960 and spun out of American parent AMR Corp. in 2000.


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