American Airlines agrees to reimburse customers $7.5 million for unjustified baggage fees
After a number of passengers filed a class-action lawsuit claiming the airline charged them for checking luggage that should have been free, American Airlines reached an agreement to distribute at least $7.5 million.
As of last Friday, the U.S. agreement had been filed. In the event that the claim is filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas and granted, it will open the door for other passengers to make claims and recoup the full cost of checking their luggage.
The documents reveal that the airline and the plaintiffs reached a preliminary settlement deal in August, with the airline agreeing to deposit at least $7.5 million into a settlement account.
However, the proposed settlement has no cap, so the airline could pay more if a large number of passengers make claims.
If insufficient claims are received to exhaust the whole $7.5 million, American has promised to distribute the leftover monies equitably among those who have submitted legitimate claims.
Several customers filed the complaint with the airline in February, claiming they were promised free checked bags as part of promotions or perks.
However, when passengers arrived at the airport, they reported that agents informed them of the necessity to pay checked luggage costs. It has been claimed by some of the claimants that they informed airline staff of the alleged promise, only to be told that the computer system did not reflect the alleged perk.
Incorrect charges, according to the plaintiffs, were made as far back as 2013.
American Airlines has a sliding system for checked bag fees dependent on passenger’s total weight and final destination.
Many travelers are able to avoid those fees, though, by gaining frequent flyer status with the airline or by using one of the company’s many credit cards.
It all depends on the passenger’s position or the credit card they use. There is a gradual increase in the number of free checked bags available with higher American Airlines membership tiers.