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2004 Int'l Travel L.J. 36 (2004)
The Marketing of Travel Services over the Internet and the Impact upon the Assertion of Personal Jurisdiction: 2004

handle is hein.journals/itlj2004 and id is 42 raw text is: -2004] International Travel Law Journal


Thomas A. Dickerson

1. Pfenning, Internet travel shows moment of
weakness, Travel Weekly, October 14, 2002,
p. 10
2. See Limone, Report: Direct sales on the
rise, Travel Weekly, June 30, 2003, p. 43.
3. For a comparison of these travel seller Web
sites see Travel web sites: You still need to
compare, Consumer Reports Travel Letter,
June 2002, p. 1
4. See How Low Can You Go? Priceline Adds
Hotel Bids, Consumer Reports Travel Letter,
December 1998, p. 1; Wilkening, The ins
and outs of Priceline. com: Good fares come
with drawbacks, Travel Weekly, June 24,
1999, p. 1
5. See Matter of Travelot Company, 286 B.R.
447, 450 (S.D. Ga. 2002
6. See Untangling the Web, Stop Press,
Conde Nast Traveller, June 2002, p. 62.
7. See D.0.T Prohibition on Deceptive
Practices In the Marketing of Airfare to the
Public Using the Internet, January 18, 2001,
at http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/rules.htm.
8. See e.g. Second Circuit: Brown v Grand
Hotel Eden, 2003 WL 21496756 (S.D.N.Y.
9. See e.g. Eleventh Circuit: Meier v Sun
International Hotels, 288 F. 3d 1264 (11 th
Cir. 2002)
10. See e.g. Intermor v Walt Disney Company,
250 F. Supp. 2d 116, 119-120 (E.D.N.Y.
11. See e.g. Second Circuit: Dorfman v Marriott
International Hotels, Inc., 2002 WL 14363
(S.D.N.Y. 2002)

Consumer use of the Internet to make travel arrangements
has risen dramatically in recent years1. While consumers
remain cautious about the reliability of information, the
prospect of hidden fees and insecure credit card
transactions, travel shopping on the Web is increasing,2
particularly, as travel suppliers, e.g. hotels and air carriers,
and travel sellers, e.g. Cheap Tickets, Expedia, One Travel,
Travelocity, TravelNow and Orbitz,3 offer exclusive fares on
their own Web sites with 24 hour accessibility and retailers
continue to develop creative ways to sell travel services,
e.g. Priceline,4 Travelot,5 Site59's last-minute-air-plus-
land-packages.6 While offering many conveniences the
unlimited  access  of unlicensed, uninsured  and
irresponsible travel suppliers and travel sellers to the
Internet threatens consumers by exposing them to
complex travel scams.7 However, the Internet, as opposed
to selling travel services through travel agents or over an
800 telephone number, may give injured travellers an
edge in establishing personal jurisdiction over foreign travel
suppliers and travel sellers.
The Solicitation Plus Doctrine
If a foreign travel supplier, e.g. a hotel or an air carrier
conducts business through an agent,8 a wholly owned
subsidiary,9 a parent corporation1° or joint venturer11 or
maintains an office with a staff, a bank account and a local
telephone number then the assertion of personal
jurisdiction would, generally, be appropriate. In the absence

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