AA Asks For Talks In Sabre Suit

A legal ceasefire between American Airlines and Sabre expires next week, and it doesn't seem like much progress has been made on that new agreement they have been working on since agreeing to delay litigation in January.

Where do things stand? American, for one, isn't quite sure. The carrier on Tuesday requested a "status conference" with the Texas court hearing the case when the stay expires on June 1. "The request is made because we're concerned Sabre may take retaliatory actions toward American this summer," according to an AA spokesperson.

With "unsuccessful discussions" as to what will replace their contract expiring on Aug. 31, American explained in court documents that it asked Sabre earlier this month about its "intentions to resume its challenged conduct," particularly plans to bias shopping displays, rescind segment fee discounts and end its distribution agreement with American in early August, ahead of expiration. "In its May 17 response," AA noted, "Sabre declined to specify its plans."

Sabre on May 10 told subscribers that it has "no desire or intention to remove AA's content from the Sabre system. We have a full content agreement with AA that runs through Aug. 31. It is our goal to do all we can between now and the end of August to reach a full content distribution agreement with AA."

Even so, the carrier has a lot of questions for the GDS operator. "Did Sabre have a change of heart and are now renouncing their prior tactics, or have they purposely worded their most recent email to leave themselves wiggle room?" the AA spokesperson asked in an email.

The lawyers have plenty to discuss.