Travel booking company Sabre sues Hawaiian Airlines over alleged contract breach

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Global distribution system (GDS) provider Sabre has filed a lawsuit against Hawaiian Airlines for an alleged breach of contract that is affecting the travel booking company’s competitive advantage.

Sabre filed the lawsuit on August 31, 2022 at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Based on the lawsuit, Sabre is alleging that Hawaiian Airlines implemented a new policy that prevented US-based travel agents from booking inter-island flights. The travel booking company also claims that the airline began levying US-based travel agents a $7.00 per segment surcharge on Hawaiian Airlines flights booked through Sabre.

Travel industry site Skift reported that Hawaiian Airlines informed travel agents months ago that all of its flights, including its inter-island schedule, would be available to U.S. travel agents without surcharges through alternative means. These alternative means include HA Connect, the Hawaiian Airlines Partner Portal, and HA Connect Approved Partners. HA approved partners include: ATPCO, ClarityTTS, NuFlights, Thomalex, Tidesquare, Travelfusion, TravelNDC, and Verteil Technologies, according to the airline.

Sabre said in the lawsuit that Hawaiian Airline’s breaches have put the GDS provider at a competitive disadvantage. The airline, however, said that Sabre’s claims are “baseless”, and it believes they are acting within contractual rights.

“We believe Sabre’s claims to be baseless and that we are acting well within our contractual rights as we implement a new distribution strategy replacing dated technology with the modern NDC standard,” Hawaiian Airlines said in a statement seen by Skift. 

“We intend to vigorously defend against these claims,” the airline added.


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