Southwest Airlines is suing Kiwi.com and Skiplagged. US airlines have taken legal action because they believe their tickets are being offered and sold without permission. The defendants reject any infringement.
Southwest Airlines blames ticket aggregators for the same transgressions. According to him, search engines offer tickets without prior agreement, which airlines consider a violation of business conditions.
Southwest lawyers add that Kiwi.com and Skiplagged cooperated with each other and sold tickets at a higher price. “Kiwi knowingly and deliberately takes over ticket information from the Southwest website for its own commercial benefit and without Southwest’s permission,” said the lawsuit, which arrived in Texas court. “Neither Kiwi nor Skiplagged are allowed to display or sell Southwest tickets,” the airline’s lawyers wrote.
“Skiplagged not use Southwest.com website or its API (application programming interface – Ed. Ed.) To obtain data for Skiplagged,” opposes US search engine tickets. Therefore, we are not subject to business conditions, the company rejects.
“We work for the customer, not for airlines, customers have the right to know all offers and prices,” a Kiwi.com spokeswoman told E15. “To a large extent, this case is about whether public information is really public. “Southwest Airlines is working to limit competitors’ access to public online tariff information,” Kiwi.com denies the mistake.
According to Kiwi.com, traditional airlines want to “continue to control customer behavior, limit their options and prevent price comparisons from publicly available information.” Southwest is one of eight hundred carriers whose tickets Kiwi.com offers.
“At Kiwi.com, we are constantly facing new challenges and bringing new innovations to the market, so it can also be assumed that some companies will try to fight us,” a Kiwi.com spokeswoman told E15. “However, we are prepared for this situation and also for the costs associated with the legal protection of our efforts so that we can allow customers to make free choices.”
Kiwi.com incurred a loss of tens of millions of euros last year, and due to pandemic measures had to return tens of millions of euros to its clients, which it pays out to this day. He will most likely not return to profit this year either. However, search engines are gradually returning clients, in May it was seventy percent compared to 2019.
Southwest Airlines also recorded a loss, in which case the amount exceeded three billion dollars. Last year, they asked for financial help from the US government, resulting in a $ 1.7 billion bailout. It is one of the largest airlines in the United States, carrying tens of millions of passengers each year.