Travel Weekly's Technology E-letter: September 7, 2005

SPAM DECISION: The U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., dismissed all claims brought against Omega World Travel of Fairfax, Va., by a self-styled anti-spam crusader. In addition, most claims leveled by Omega against its accuser were dismissed except for a claim of defamation, which is slated to go to trial. The dispute was sparked by postings early this year at SueaSpammer.com accusing Omega subsidiary Cruise.com and owners Gloria and Dan Bohan of illegal spamming. Site owner Mark Mumma used SueaSpammer.com to threaten litigation and demand hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation for the alleged spamming. But Omega in the Spring sued Mumma and his company for $3.8 million in damages plus injunctive relief in an effort to protect the agencys reputation from an enterprise designed to extort money from businesses, court documents said. Omega told the court that the agency does not send unsolicited e-mails and that the entire Omega and Cruise.com databases are built by collecting names from site visitors who fill out a request for the electronic missives.

 

EXPEDIA INC.S private label e-commerce unit, WWTE, is broadening its efforts and targeting non-travel Web sites. In that regard, Expedia.com and Turner Sports Interactive reached an agreement in which Expedia.com is powering the travel sections of Turners Nascar.com and PGA.com sites on an exclusive basis. The Nascar and PGA sites, which now feature dynamic packages tailored toward car racing and golfing events, are co-branded as being powered by Expedia.com. Worldspan previously had handled the air, car and hotel bookings on the Nascar site.

AMERICAN EXPRESS BUSINESS TRAVEL said it will offer its TrackPoint Global Security Solution to its U.S.-based clients and will expand its availability globally in the next few months. TrackPoint is a tool that enables travel managers to locate their traveling employees itineraries by country, state, province and city in the event of a security-related incident.

SABRE CLIENT WINS: Sabre revealed that WorldTek Travel, a New Haven, Conn., agency with 25 U.S. locations, switched from Worldspan to Sabre for GDS services. WorldTek, which does leisure, corporate and meetings travel, also will market GetThere technology to its corporate clients. Separately, Sabres GetThere signed a contract to provide its corporate self-booking tool to Adidas for all of its global travel -- except running and walking, of course.

VACATION.COM added live chat to its members-only AgentNet booking and communications portal. The tool, AgentNet LiveHelp, is similar to AOL Instant Messenger. If Vacation.com members have a client on the phone and they need additional information about a booking or destination, they can use the tool to chat with the agency groups Membership Services team. Vacation.com is testing LiveHelp, with the rollout considered to be in soft-launch mode.

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