KW: How to Sue the Airline
Have you had a bad experience travelling and want to know how to sue theairlines?
Air travelers who have been wronged may find that there’s nothing more intimidatingthan seeking legal action against an airline or how to sue an airline. From thesmaller inconveniences of flight delays and lost luggage to the overwhelmingtragedies of personal injury and loss of life, a traveler or family must pit themselvesagainst a seemingly faceless conglomerate. By knowing how to initiate the legalprocess, many consumers have found a resolution when suing an airline.A traveler may choose to sue an airline in small claims court when they have beenwronged in such a manner that additional expense is incurred and the airline refusesreimbursement. Most states limit monetary awards in small claims court to between$3,000 and $7,500. A traveler may not sue in small claims court when an airlineloses property or damages goods.
Factors to consider when filing:
Prior to pursuing action in small claims court forsuing an airline, one must determine the following:
Is the amount of the claim smaller than the state or local law monetary limit?
Does the airline do business in the court in which you are filing?
Does the airline have a contract of carriage which must be followed?
Has the airline been given the opportunity to follow any of its obligations?
Can the dispute be settled out of court?
Is it a hardship for you to appear in court?
How to file a claim:
Once you have decided to sue an airline carrier in small claimscourt, you should contact the clerk's office for court procedures including filing fees, jurisdictional issues and ceiling on amount of money that can be awarded. It is alsoimportant to find out whether or not there is a time limit on filing the particularclaim.When filing out any small claims paperwork, it is critical to be honest and accurate.Remember to find out the legal address and official or corporate name of the airline.Then, make sure the airline has an office or has flights that leave from the area. Thiswill give the courts jurisdiction or legal power over the airline to call them into court.It is important to be aware that the court will not be responsible for actuallycollecting any money for you. It is entirely your responsibility. Collecting the moneyowed is the most difficult part of the process so one has to learn to be patient.
With regard to flight delays:
Sound legal ground also exists to sue an airline,when a plane “pushes back from the blocks” or leaves the gate on time but sits onthe runway for an hour or more because of known flight delays. Airlines, in anattempt to repair their image in the midst of rampant flight delays, often resort tothis tactic so they can show an on-time departure. If passengers can prove that thiswas the case, then they can sue. However, this is “usually a tough one to prove.” With rampant delays, it will be easier for passengers who sit on the runway for