U.S. airline obtains personal jurisdiction over European online travel agent

TravelJungle v. American Airlines, Inc. (Tex. App. Dec. 14, 2006).  TravelJungle is an online travel agent that uses software to automatically harvest information from airline web sites.  TravelJungle’s principal places of business are in Europe and it has no U.S. employees.

American sued TravelJungle in a Texas state court for violating AA.com’s use agreement, which prohibits use of site information for “commercial purposes.”  In response, TravelJungle challenged the court’s personal jurisdiction over the company.

The appeals court held that the courts of Texas had jurisdiction over TravelJungle under the state’s long-arm statute.  The court reasoned that TravelJungle’s software had been purposefully directed to access the airline’s site and its servers, which are in Texas, and that the company should have been aware that it could be subject to suit wherever the site’s servers happen to be located.

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