American Airlines Passengers – Furious Over Wrongfully Charged Baggage Fees

You’ve probably heard the old English saying, “The heaviest baggage for a traveler is an empty purse.” While former American Airlines passengers may not have empty wallets, the frustration of wrongfully charged baggage fees made the stress of traveling worse. When it happened to several travelers, they took action. The result? A class action suit which is now settled, pending court approval. I teamed up with attorneys, Patrick Deblase and Oren Giskan and filed a breach of contract and fraud lawsuit, Katherine M. Cleary, et al v. American Airlines in the northern District of Texas.

wrongfully charged baggage fees

Class Action Lawsuit Addresses Widespread Practice of Wrongfully Charged Baggage Fees

American Airlines frequently promised passengers that they would not have to pay luggage fees. Certain passengers like frequent fliers or people with business class tickets were not supposed to be charged fees. Unfortunately, even with documents promising no charge, American Airlines charged some passengers luggage fees. For instance, William and Katherine Cleary purchased tickets in 2017, receiving a confirmation email that their bags would be checked for free. However, AA charged them for their bags. The same thing happened to Judy Crosson.

Two additional plaintiffs signed up for an American Airlines credit card with the perk of free checked bags. But, once again, both Eric Earll and Filippo Ferrigni were charged baggage fees.

Our investigation found that this contractual business fraud practice was widespread at American Airlines. In fact, in 2019 AA earned over $1.4 billion in baggage fees alone. Class Action News. In other words, not all big financial fraud is part of a Ponzi scheme. Multi-million-dollar fraud can be perpetrated $50 at a time.

How Many People Were Impacted By Wrongfully Charged Baggage Fees?

How many people were impacted by improperly charged baggage fees, but figured it wasn’t worth their time to complain? That’s why certain class action lawsuits are worth filing. When large companies take advantage of their customers time and time again, a financial penalty must be invoked to discourage this practice. Otherwise, what’s to deter the company from continuing this bad behavior?

The case is set for a final hearing on May 5, 2023. Here’s what we anticipate based on our negotiations:

  • All members of both classes (as defined in SJ order) may submit claims and
    receive 100% of their wrongfully charged baggage fees refunded. Claims
    process will be simple and can be done by mail or online.
  • AA agreed to pay a minimum of $7.5 million in refunds.
  • AA will pay all administrative and notice costs.
  • AA will pay the class representatives (subject to court approval) $10,000 each.

Remember even the small fights can be worth fighting. Not all fraud comes in a big package. Financial fraud comes in many shapes and sizes. We hope all your financial investments are safe and profitable. But if you find yourself searching for an experienced litigation lawyer or business fraud attorney, we are here to help.

Photo of Mark Alexander Mark Alexander

Mark Alexander is the principal of the Firm. In 1979, he earned his undergraduate degree at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and his law degree at Thomas M. Cooley, Lansing, Michigan, in 1985 (Academic Dean’s List).

Mr. Alexander is licensed…

Mark Alexander is the principal of the Firm. In 1979, he earned his undergraduate degree at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and his law degree at Thomas M. Cooley, Lansing, Michigan, in 1985 (Academic Dean’s List).

Mr. Alexander is licensed to practice law by the Supreme Courts of the States of Texas (1985) and Michigan (1988), and holds licenses before the following courts: Supreme Court of Texas; Supreme Court of Michigan; United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth and Sixth Circuits; United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, and Western Districts of Texas; and the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan. In addition he has been admitted in several other Federal and State Courts to represent Texas clients, who have been engaged in significant litigation in those jurisdictions.

Courts have appointed Mr. Alexander to serve as a receiver, and facilitator in complex litigation lawsuits. Additionally he has been a frequent lecturer for organizations on a variety of business law matters.  Mr. Alexander has also served as an Adjunct Professor of Business Law at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan. Significantly, Mr. Alexander is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating an attorney can receive.

Additionally, due to the complex nature of its practice, the Firm has an on-going relationship with a legal group that provides litigation support services. This group is comprised of a team of attorneys, whose combined capabilities allow the group to provide nearly 24-hour coverage at crucial times for any case. This arrangement is but one example of the innovative, cutting-edge approach that the Firm provides to its clients in order to improve representation at reduced legal fees.