American Airlines Charges for “Free” Checked Bag Class Action

According to the complaint for this class action, in 2019, American Airlines, Inc. (AA) earned over $1.4 billion in baggage fees. AA now offers to allow certain customers to check bags for free now, but the complaint alleges that “AA systematically required these passengers to pay to check bags and thus breached its contract with affected passengers.”

Which passengers were to be exempt from paying baggage charges? The complaint points to
customers who flew frequently in AA’s loyalty program AAdvantage, customers who purchased first or business class tickets, and customers who held AA’s branded credit cards.”

Two of the five plaintiffs in this case, William and Katherine Cleary, bought roundtrip tickets to travel between Los Angeles and Dallas. They purchased the tickets from AA’s website. According to the complaint, the purchase of the ticket established a contract between the Clearys and AA which stipulated that they could each check their first bag at no charge. This term was included both in the confirmation screens they saw as they were concluding their booking and in the confirmation e-mails AA then sent to them.

“However, when the Clearys arrived at the airport on March 21, 2017, each with a bag to check,” the complaint alleges, “AA required them to pay to check each bag, and similarly [required them to pay] upon their return three days later. They paid the fees.”

In March 2018, plaintiff Judy Crosson received an e-mail from AA telling her she had received “Gold Status” that was valid through May 25, 2018. On May 14, she bought a roundtrip ticket from Dallas to Myrtle Beach online from AA. Crosson received a confirmation e-mail from AA telling her that she would not be charged for her first bag. However, when Crosson appeared at the airport on August 26, 2018, the airline required her to pay to check her bag.

Similar things happened to plaintiffs Eric Earll and Filippo Ferrigni. Earll had a Citi/AAdvantage Premium Select credit card that allowed him to check his first bag for free, but the check-in agent told him the computer did not show a free bag.

Ferrigni had applied for an AA-partner credit card, but at the airport he was told that he could only have a free bag on domestic flights. He was charged on that flight and on the return, as well as on a third flight that was part of his itinerary but was completely domestic.

The complaint alleges breach of contract.

The class includes all persons who bought a ticket for air travel on AA subject to AA promises that their ticket would allow them to check a specified number of bags for free, when in fact AA require them to pay to check one or more bags, during the relevant statute of limitations period before the filing of this complaint.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

American Airlines Charges for “Free” Checked Bag Complaint

September 4, 2020

According to the complaint for this class action, in 2019, American Airlines, Inc. (AA) earned over $1.4 billion in baggage fees. AA now offers to allow certain customers to check bags for free now, but the complaint alleges that “AA systematically required these passengers to pay to check bags and thus breached its contract with affected passengers.”

American Airlines Charges for “Free” Checked Bag Complaint

Case Event History

American Airlines Charges for “Free” Checked Bag Complaint

September 4, 2020

According to the complaint for this class action, in 2019, American Airlines, Inc. (AA) earned over $1.4 billion in baggage fees. AA now offers to allow certain customers to check bags for free now, but the complaint alleges that “AA systematically required these passengers to pay to check bags and thus breached its contract with affected passengers.”

American Airlines Charges for “Free” Checked Bag Complaint
Tags: Additional charges in breach of contract, Airline TIckets, Breach of Contract