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JetBlue Website Trip Insurance Kickbacks RICO Class Action

When you make a reservation with an airline and buy trip insurance on the same website, do you assume that the trip insurance goes entirely to a third party insurer? The complaint for this class action says that when you buy trip insurance at the website for JetBlue Airways Corporation, the cost of the insurance is increased by a kickback that goes straight back to JetBlue.

The class for this action is all persons in the US who bought a trip insurance policy on JetBlue’s website within the applicable limitations period.

JetBlue runs hundreds of flights to nine airports in Florida. It sells tickets for these flights on its website. Each time a consumer books a flight on the website, before the consumer completes the purchase, JetBlue offers trip insurance with a purportedly third-party insurance company. The consumer buying the ticket must say yes or no to buying the insurance. 

In fact, the complaint suggests that the company pushes the purchase of trip insurance and makes the consumer feel that having it is good and normal and not having it is dangerous.

For example, when the consumer gets to the Payment page, to review flight details before paying, the insurance is offered with two options. The first is, “Yes, add travel protection for only $[price] per traveler in this reservation. This is a total of $[price]. (Highly recommended).” The second is, “No, I choose not to protect my $[fare price] purchase and understand I am responsible for all cancellation fees and delay expenses.” This is followed by a statement consisting of a number and the words “customers protected their trip in the last 7 days” plus a quote from USA Today, saying, “And of course—always get travel insurance.”

But the complaint says that this pushiness is hiding the fact that selling the consumer trip insurance at this point brings in more money for JetBlue: “In other words, the consumer is deceived into believing that JetBlue is acting in the consumer’s best financial interest, and not its own.” This might be true if the price of insurance was merely a pass-through, where the entire amount went to the insurance provider and the airline had no financial interest in the transaction. 

The complaint says that even the presentation of the insurance on the website, its way of detailing the purchase, and its omission from the travel itinerary document give the impression that it is in fact a completely separate item. However, the complaint alleges that some of it comes back to JetBlue as a kickback.

The complaint alleges that JetBlue is legally prohibited from receiving such kickbacks. Is this because, as the complaint points out, JetBlue does not have a license to sell insurance? The complaint claims that in fact the situation falls under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, with the conspiracy involving not just JetBlue but Allianz Global Assistance, Jefferson Insurance Company, BCS Insurance Company, and others. However, only JetBlue is named as a defendant in this case. 

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

JetBlue Website Trip Insurance Kickbacks RICO Complaint

January 8, 2019

When you make a reservation with an airline and buy trip insurance on the same website, do you assume that the trip insurance goes entirely to a third party insurer? The complaint for this class action says that when you buy trip insurance at the website for JetBlue Airways Corporation, the cost of the insurance is increased by a kickback that goes straight back to JetBlue.

jet_blue_trip_ins_rico_compl.pdf

Case Event History

JetBlue Website Trip Insurance Kickbacks RICO Complaint

January 8, 2019

When you make a reservation with an airline and buy trip insurance on the same website, do you assume that the trip insurance goes entirely to a third party insurer? The complaint for this class action says that when you buy trip insurance at the website for JetBlue Airways Corporation, the cost of the insurance is increased by a kickback that goes straight back to JetBlue.

jet_blue_trip_ins_rico_compl.pdf
Tags: Insurance, Kickbacks, RICO