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Friday, June 2, 2017

Court Ruling: Passengers Can Sue Airlines For Delayed Bags

Above, Singapore Airlines check-in counter and baggage
scale at Narita International Airport. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

A federal appeals court reversed an earlier court ruling that said passengers couldn't sue airlines for delayed baggage. This is a case involving US Airways.

Condé Nast Traveler reported:
Even if you go to great lengths to make sure your checked bags won't get lost, ultimately, it's out of your control. Once you toss your suitcase on that scale, it's at the airline's whim. A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday, however, that you might have more recourse to recouping your checked bag fee, when it overturned an earlier decision that could pave the way for disgruntled customers to sue airlines over delayed bags. 
As SF Gate notes, however, federal appeals judge Andrew Kleinfeld ruled Wednesday that the airline committed itself to "on-time baggage delivery" in its Terms of Transportation with Hickcox-Huffman, which constituted a "contract to deliver the baggage when she landed" that was not part of state laws. The lawsuit originally pleaded a breach of contract when the airline didn't deliver her bags on time, and didn't refund the checked-bag fee afterward.

Domestic airlines rake in billions of dollars in baggage fees. This ruling can have big ramifications for them. The case is being sent back to the lower court for further ruling. We'll see what happens there.

I had my suitcase delayed for a day during my 2015 trip to Japan. Singapore Airlines paid me ¥12,000 for necessities, although the delay wasn't their fault.

To read more, go here.

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