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American Airlines seeks to toss COVID-19 class-action suit seeking ticket refunds
August 17, 2020
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American Airlines has asked a judge to throw out a class-action lawsuit seeking airfare refunds for trips that were canceled amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, arguing the people seeking reimbursements canceled their own flights and are therefore not eligible or agreed to arbitration upon buying their tickets, court papers show.
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Lawyers representing the airline told a judge Thursday that two of the three plaintiffs who had proposed the class-action suit had agreed to arbitration clauses when they booked their trips through Hotwire and Expedia, according to the airline’s motion to dismiss, which was published online by Law360.com.
AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC.
“Those agreements expressly state that the purchaser must bring any claims against travel suppliers (like American) in individual arbitration or small claims court, and that travel suppliers like American are intended beneficiaries of the agreements to arbitrate,” court papers state. “As such, those plaintiffs’ claims must be resolved by an arbitrator, and should be dismissed.”
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The lawyers also argue that, according to American’s “conditions of carriage,” passengers will typically only be eligible for refunds if the flight was canceled by the airline.