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Does Amtrak compete with Delta?

A recently filed lawsuit raises a compelling question: Is Amtrak a direct competitor of Delta Air Lines?

The lawsuit filed by Amtrak demands that Washington, D.C’s Union Station take down advertising by Atlanta-based Delta.

The lawsuit contends that Delta competes with Amtrak. It cites Amtrak’s sublease at the station that says advertising by competing transportation services is not allowed without consent, according to the suit filed on May 25 against Union Station Investco LLC in U.S. district court in Washington D.C.

“Delta is a competitor of Amtrak’s for the business of travelers nationwide, and particularly in the Northeast corridor,” according to Amtrak’s legal filing.

But Union Station argues that the ads are “generic promotions of Delta, not promotions of any Delta services competing with those that Amtrak offers,” with no specific destinations or prices.

Union Station said in the filing that Amtrak’s argument that advertising is prohibited by services that compete for business from the traveling public “would lead to the absurd prohibition on advertisements for almost any kind of transportation service, including rental cars, personal automobiles, taxi and ride-share services, or even potentially bicycles.”

For more on the lawsuit and why Amtrak says Delta is a competitor, read the full story on MyAJC.com.


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Delta testing system to replace boarding pass with fingerprints Amtrak contends it competes with Delta for business, and has demanded that Washington, D.C.'s Union Station take down Delta advertising per the terms of its sublease at the station.

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About the Author

Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.