Filed by Haley Hickcock-Huffman against US Airways and American Airlines, the plaintiff seeks to reclaim the cost of her $15 baggage fee after her luggage did not arrive on her May 2009 flight from San Louis Obispo to Colorado Springs, CO. The suit alleges breach of contract by the defendants.
The suit was initially dismissed by a district court judge in April 2011, who stated that returning the luggage fee was never part of the original agreement between the airline and the customer. Further, the district court judge argued that according to the Federal Airline Deregulation Act, airlines only need to demonstrate that they made their best effort to deliver customers’ luggage. The law does not guarantee delivery.
However, Judge Andrew Kleinfield of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, who has said the suit can proceed, has ruled that while the airline is not required to deliver the bags, that does not invalidate the airline's claim to offer on-time baggage delivery. The Federal Airline Deregulation Act does not state that passengers are forbidden from pursuing legal recourse if the terms of the agreement are not met, the judge stated.
The class will include any person who can prove that their bags did not arrive with their US Airways flight. It is estimated that the class could number in the thousands. Damages will equal the refunded luggage fee of $15 for every bag that did not arrive with its flight, attorneys for the plaintiff state. Plaintiffs are represented by Foley Bezek Behle & Curtis LLP. The suit is Hickcock-Huffman v US Airways Inc et al.