Travelport is seeking an injunction and damages against American Airlines, alleging that a 10% Kayak discount off American Airlines' fares violates Travelport's global distribution system full-content agreements with the airline.
The allegation was part of an amended complaint against the airline which Travelport filed Feb. 9 in the Circuit Court of Cook County in Chicago.
Travelport states that under the full-content agreements with its Galileo and Worldspan GDSs, American would be permitted to provide "a discount, promotion or perk to the identity of the passenger to whom the discount, promotion or perk was issued."
But since Kayak doesn't handle bookings for American Airlines flights, the 10% discount can be used by the general public -- without ever visiting Kayak.com -- simply by entering the "personal promotional code" when booking a flight on AA.com, Travelport alleges.
Travelport states in the amended complaint that it contacted American Airlines, asking why Galileo and Worldspan users were not also given the 10% discounts, and the airline replied that it gave the discounts to Kayak under the "Targeted Group" exception to the full-content agreements.
The Targeted Group exception doesn't apply, Travelport alleges, because "AA did not limit the fares to a limited group of travelers, nor did AA limit the actual sales of those fares to 'users of Kayak.'"
Travelport alleges that it lost booking fees because of the Kayak discount and that American Airlines' action also damaged Travelport's "business reputation and current and future relationships" because Travelport pledges to customers that it provides full content from American Airlines.
Travelport is seeking to recover lost booking fee revenue and other damages allegedly caused by American's discount to Kayak.
In addition, Travelport seeks a court injunction that would compel American Airlines to provide Travelport with any discounts in the future which are similar to the discounts American Airlines gave to Travelport.
The amended complain is part of ongoing Travelport-American Airlines litigation, which traces its beginnings to American Airlines' decision late last year to terminate its contract with Travelport-controlled Orbitz Worldwide.
A spokesman for American Airlines denied Travelport's allegations.
“We believe that we were and are in full compliance with our contract with Travelport and that the court will be in agreement as the facts are revealed," says Ryan Mikolasik, a spokesman for American Airlines.