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Southwest Airlines Sues Orbitz Travel Site

May 05, 2001|James F. Peltz

Low-fare carrier Southwest Airlines filed suit against Orbitz, alleging that the travel site was using the low-fare carrier's logo and other proprietary data without its permission, and that certain Southwest information on the site "is false and misleading." Gary Doernhoefer, Orbitz's general counsel, said in a letter to the airline that Orbitz had removed Southwest's logo from its site and stood ready to "work with" Southwest to address its other complaints. But he said Orbitz has the right to display Southwest flight data that it obtains from standard clearinghouses that provide the same data to other travel firms. Orbitz, which will formally launch next month but already is selling tickets on a test version of its Web site, was founded by five other major U.S. airlines, including American and United. The Chicago-based company maintains that it's a "neutral and unbiased online travel site" that provides fares and schedules for 450 airlines. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

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