American Airlines, Sabre put dispute on hold

SAN FRANCISCO Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:56am EST

Passengers check-in at the American Airlines ticket counter at Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts January 5, 2010. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS TRANSPORT)

Passengers check-in at the American Airlines ticket counter at Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts January 5, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS TRANSPORT)

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - American Airlines Inc and Sabre Holdings Corp put litigation on hold and said they will try to reach a deal to end a dispute over how the carrier's fares are displayed to travel agents and customers.

Earlier this month, American Airlines Inc won a court order temporarily blocking Sabre Holdings Corp from presenting its fares in a manner the carrier fears might steer customers to other airlines.

Sabre is one of several global distribution systems, such as Amadeus and Galileo, that act as pipelines to provide fare and flight information to travel agents.

Both companies said in a statement they will return to operating as they had prior to January 5, when Sabre said it would change how it displays the carrier's fares to ticket buyers.

American, a unit of AMR Corp AMR.N, had accused Sabre of violating its contract by pushing the carrier's fares lower in displays, making them harder for ticket buyers to find.

AMR has developed technology that informs ticket buyers of various services it offers for a fee, such as extra legroom or priority seating, rather than steering them toward tickets on the basis of price or schedule.

But this could disrupt the ticket selling model now favoured by Sabre and online agencies such as Expedia Inc (EXPE.O) and Orbitz Worldwide Inc (OWW.N).

(Reporting by Noel Randewich; editing by Carol Bishopric)

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