Online Travel Update: Vrbo gets creative when it comes to vacation rental shortages; Booking.com Establishes Fintech Business to Improve Payments Platform; Tensions between Southwest Airlines and discount airline Skiplagged rise | Foster Garvey PC

Booking.com goes deeper into payments
(“Booking.com Aims to Eliminate Payment Disputes by Creating a Fintech Unit,” July 8, 2021 via Phocus Wire)
Apparently, Booking.com’s much-promoted facilitated payments platform may only be the beginning of the company’s payment terms. Booking.com recently announced its plans to create an independent fintech company to develop new products and services to address the perceived challenges of cross-border and cross-currency transactions while creating potential new revenue streams for Booking.com.

Tensions rise over access to and use of Southwest Airlines’ fares and schedules
(“Flight Discounter Skiplagged Calls on Federal Court To Urge Southwest Airlines To Retire,” July 3, 2021 via Skift) (Subscription May Be Required)
Southwest Airlines has been the gold standard for some time now for travel companies looking to protect their critical product and service content – fares, flight schedules, etc. – from unauthorized use by third parties (especially in the leisure segment). Recently, Skiplagged, the online platform that offers travelers discounted fares by using “Hidden City” itineraries, decided to fight back against Southwest’s efforts by targeting the discounter. In its recent federal lawsuit against Southwest Airlines, Skiplagged is seeking a court ruling that it is not subject to Southwest’s terms and conditions, which includes scraping content (e.g.) from the Southwest website. According to Skiplagged, it doesn’t scratch the airline’s website and pulls the valuable content from other third-party sources (although it hasn’t identified them). Interestingly, travelers who wish to book one of these ‘hidden city’ itineraries from Skiplagged will be directed to Kiwi.com to complete the booking. Earlier this year, Southwest filed lawsuits against Kiwi.com for similar unauthorized use of Southwest tariffs and timetables. We will continue to monitor this litigation.


Other news:

American Airlines sues Saber over tariff display
July 7, 2021 via Phocus Wire
American Airlines has petitioned a Texas court to prevent Saber from using its New Airline Storefront (NAS) ad in search results on its global distribution system. The airline claims that the new display interface that Saber developed with support from Delta skews search results in the direction of Delta, in breach of Saber’s contract with American.

The Wrap: Tripadvisor launches new app and Travelport Inks is offering free content with Emirates
July 7, 2021 via WIT
Tripadvisor has launched an updated mobile app for iOS and Android users in time for travel recreation around the world. The new app gives users access to travel advice and tips, including travel reviews and recommended locations.

Tripadvisor and CitizenM make subscriptions usable for travel – Econsultancy
July 5, 2021 via Hotel News Resource
In recent years, the idea of ​​travel subscription has attracted increasing interest, with Skift citing subscription travel as one of its 2020 travel megatrends, calling it the “next frontier of loyalty”.

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