FLIGHT DELAYS 2001: THE AIRLINE PASSENGER'S RIGHTS & REMEDIES

Flight Delays In 2000 Were The Worst Ever

On February 1, 2001 the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued its Air Travel Consumer Report ( dot.gov/airconsumer ) which confirmed that " For the year 2000, consumers filed a total of 23,381 complaints, a 14 percent increase from the 20,438 filed in 1999 ". In addition the 2000 DOT Report confirmed that flight delays and cancellations in the year 2000 were the worse since 1995 when data began to be collected from domestic airlines.

Regarding Flight Delays the 2000 DOT Report stated that " 11 carriers reporting on-time data posted a 62.8 percent on-time record in December, not as good as either November's rate of 72.8 percent or December 1999's 78.0 percent mark. Aloha Airlines had the best on-time arrival rate in December at 91.9 percent, followed by Continental Airlines at 74.0 and US Airways at 67.1. Delta Air Lines had the lowest percentage of on-time flights at 56.1, with Alaska Airlines ranked tenth at 57.0 and Northwest Airlines ninth at 58.2. For the year 2000, the reporting carriers had an overall on-time record of 72.6 percent, not as good as 1999's 76.1 percent mark. The 72.6 percent rate for 2000 also is the worst rate for any year since 1995, when comparable data began to be collected. "

Regarding Flight Cancellations the 2000 DOT Report stated " In December, the carriers canceled 5.9 percent of their scheduled domestic flights, up from the 2.3 cancellation percentage rate of November. Delta had the highest percentage of canceled flights at 10.1, followed by American at 9.4 and United Airlines at 7.0. Aloha had the lowest percentage of cancellations at 1.8 percent, followed by Southwest Airlines at 1.9 and Continental at 2.6. "

1999 Was A Bad Year Too

While domestic airline " have a good product that is selling well " and this year the airline industry " will record more than 600 million domestic passenger ' enplanements "3 the quality and timeliness of domestic air transportation has decreased dramatically in recent years. " Virtually every independent measure of customer satisfaction has declined...The unfortunate truth is that flying on an airplane today...is as unpleasant for many passengers as it has ever been. 4 Between 1998 and 1999 passenger complaints to the U.S. Department of Transportation rose from 9,608 to a staggering 20,4955 The largest number of complaints made to the DOT in 1999 through its e-mail address at airconsumer@ost.dot.gov involves flight delays and cancellations. Regarding cancellations " Last month 8,590 flights were canceled out of 307,116 scheduled. A year ago it was 6,487 out of 299,132...weather, air traffic, mechanical difficulties, rules governing crew hours and hundreds of other causes, including human error, can upset schedules "6 And regarding flight delays

" Only about three-quarters of planes arrive within 15 minutes of the scheduled time, and in bad months, about one flight in 40 is canceled altogether "7

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What Are Your Rights As An Airline Passenger?

What are your rights and remedies when your flight, domestic or international, is delayed or canceled? In addition to this Web article consumers should read Stranded At The Airport? You Still Have Options, Consumer Reports Travel Letter, December 2000 which provides " A Quick guide to the key airline rules ".

Types Of Flight Delays

A Flight Delay is any change from the promised time and date of departure or arrival. Flight delays are caused by a variety of circumstances including:
  1. (1) Cancellations [ Obuzor v. Sabena Belgian World Airlines8 ( canceled flight due to fog causes a 5 day delay in arrival in Lagos, Nigeria ); Pakistan Arts v. Pakistan International Airlines9( 2 day delay in Karachi, Pakistan forces entertainers to cancel concert in New York City ); In Re Arrow Air, Inc10. ( 8,000 consumers stranded when tour operator and air carrier default; settlement of claims ); ].

  2. (2) Mechanical Malfunctions [ see Daniel v. Virgin Atlantic11 >( flight diverted because of mechanical malfunction; passengers involuntarily held on tarmac for one hour and fifteen minutes and later confined to transit lounge for one hour and ten minutes without access to telephones );  Arkin v. Trans International Airlines12 ( tire blow out during takeoff ); Burke v. Air France13 ( engine trouble during flight; mental anguish damages recoverable ); In re Eastern Airlines, Inc. Engine Failure14 ( all three jet engines fail during flight; one engine restarted );

  3. (3) Acts Of God [ De Vera v. Japan Airlines15 ( flight delay caused by typhoon and volcanic eruption which forced closing of Manila airport ); Johnson v. Northwest Orient Airlines16 ( flight canceled because of bad weather ); Klakis v. Nationwide Leisure Corp.17 ( charter tour delayed 2 ½ days because of snowstorm ) ];

  4. (4) Schedule Changes [( Robinson v. American Airlines18 ( passenger misses flight because airline advances departure time by ten minutes ); Prechtl v. Travel House of Garden City19 ( flight from Seattle to Hawaii canceled by airline which never informed travel agent who relied upon information in computer reservations system; passengers waited sleepless in Seattle for two days for flight to Hawaii )];

  5. (5) Hijackings And Bombings [ Shah v. Pan American World Services, Inc.20 ( hijacking in Karachi, Pakistan ); In re Air Disaster at Lockerbie21 ( bomb explodes on aircraft over Scotland ); In re Flight Explosion on TQA Aircraft22 ( bomb explodes on aircraft )];

  6. (6) Noxious Body Odors [ Mohideen v. American Airlines, Inc23.( passenger and children removed from aircraft because of noxious body odors )];

  7. (7) False Imprisonment [ Bayne v. Adventure Tours USA24 ( passenger detained and baggage searched; claims of false imprisonment ); Curley v. American Airlines, Inc.25 ( passenger claims false imprisonment after being detained by authorities who were informed that passenger was smoking marihuana in lavatory ); Rombom v. United Air Lines26( rude and unprofessional conduct by stewards who spitefully had passenger falsely arrested )];

  8. (8) Wrongful Detention [ Zuliana de Aviacion v. Herrera27 ( passengers removed from aircraft, placed in airport bathroom and strip searched including a body cavity search; compensatory and punitive damages awarded ); Uwagbai v. Alitalia Airlines28 ( passenger detained in airport lounge for 3 days because of forged travel documents ); Norman v. Trans World Airlines, Inc.29 ( passenger properly removed from aircraft ) Singh v. Tarom Romanian Air Transport30( passenger removed from aircraft and detained for 6 days ); Donkor v. British Airways, Corp.31 ( passenger detained and deported from England ); Macintosh v. Interface Group32 ( passenger removed from aircraft, arrested, jailed and charged with breach of the peace ); USA v. Grossman33 ( passenger convicted of having assaulted and intimidated flight attendant )];

  9. (9) Violation Of Air Carrier's Access Act [ Newman v. American Airlines, Inc.34 ( passenger convicted of having assaulted and ( blind passenger with a heart condition claims violation of Air Carrier Access Act ( ACAA ) after airline refused transportation in the absence of a medical certificate indicating she could safely fly ); Brandt v. American Airlines35 ( passenger convicted of having assaulted and ); Rivera v. Delta Air Lines, Inc.36 ( passenger convicted of having assaulted and ( failure to offer wheelchair assistance )];

  10. (10) Wrongful Refusal To Board [ Okwa v. Harper37( passenger arrested for creating disturbance at airport; refused boarding because of invalid tickets ); Chukwu v. British Airways38 ( airline refuses to board passenger's brother ); Glavey v. Aer Lingus39 ( passenger not allowed to board unless she wrote a written apology to airline for filing a lost baggage claim 10 days earlier )];

  11. (11) Failure To Confirm Or Reconfirm Reservations [ Lathigra v. British Airways40 ( negligent failure to reconfirm flight strands passenger in Nairobi ); El-Menshawy v. Egypt Air41 ( failure to confirm flight from Cairo ); Burnap v. Tribeca Travel42 ( travel agent fails to confirm reservations and note changes ) ];

  12. (12) Discrimination [ Mohideen v. American Airlines, Inc.43 ( passenger and children removed from aircraft because of noxious body odor claim religious discrimination ); Owolabi v. Air France44 ( blind passenger in wheelchair denied assistance and left unattended in airport for seven hours during which time she urinated on herself; claims discrimination based upon race, age and disabilities ); Quinn v. National Railroad Passenger Corp45 ( African-American passengers ejected from train; discrimination based on race and violating ejectment rules ); Pearson v. Lake Forest Country Day School46 ( emotional distress and defamation action arising from failure to seat 13 year old boy )];

  13. (13) Airline Overbooking [ Minhas v. Biman Bangladesh Airlines47 ( passenger delayed 45 days after being overbooked in New Delhi, India ); Lopez v. Eastern Airlines, Inc.48 ( compensatory damages awarded to passenger overbooked on domestic flight ); Guerrero v. American Airlines, Inc.49 ( airline not liable for breach of contract for overbooked flight )];

  14. (14) Wrongful Ejection [ Norman v. Trans World Airlines, Inc.50 ( passenger properly removed from aircraft ); Hermano v. United Airlines51 ( passenger suspected of having a gun is removed from aircraft ); Montanez v. Solstar Corp.52 ( passenger removed from aircraft after altercation with flight attendant ); Huggar v. Northwest Airlines, Inc.53 ( dispute over storage of carry-on baggage in overhead bin leads to removal of passenger from aircraft ); Smith v. Gerber54 ( passenger interfered with flight attendant ); Schaeffer v. Cavallero55( passenger removed from flight after vociferously demanding a receipt for a piece of carry-on baggage ); Rombom v. United Air Lines, Inc.56 ( disruptive passenger removed from aircraft )];

  15. 15) Failure To Assist Disabled Passenger [ Owolabi v. Air France 57( blind passenger in wheelchair denied assistance and left unattended in airport for seven hours during which time she urinated on herself); Shupe v. American Airlines58 ( failure to meet and assist passenger making connecting flight )];

  16. (16) Misinformation [ Lewis v. Continental Airlines, Inc.59 ( passenger missed connection after being misinformed about flight departure time ); Siben v. American Airlines, Inc.60 ( airline misrepresented location and arrival time of lost baggage ); Carro v. Parente World Travel Center61 ( travel agent failed to include tickets as part of package tour )];

  17. (17) Civil Disorder [ Jamil v. Kuwait Corp.62 ( four day flight delay because of coup in Pakistan )];

  18. (18) Shortage Of Fuel [ Daniel v. Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited63 ( 25 hour flight delay caused by mechanical malfunctions and shortage of fuel )];

  19. (19) Misplaced Tickets [ Ragonese v. Rosenfeld64( airline ticket agent fails to locate ticket at airport; passenger forced to buy a second ticket at a higher price )];

  20. (20) Collapsing Ticket Counters [ Romero v. American Airlines, Inc.65 ( passenger delayed and injured when airport check-in counter sign collapsed on her )]; and

  21. (21) Altered Tickets [ Peralta v. Continental Airlines, Inc.66 ( passenger removed from aircraft because of altered ticket lost business deal in Costa Rica and claims lost profits of $30,000 )].

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Rights & Remedies

The passenger's rights and remedies for a cancellation or a flight delay will depend upon several factors. Was the flight international or domestic? If it was international then the Warsaw Convention or its progeny may apply ( see discussion below ).

If the flight was domestic then the passenger's rights and remedies will depend upon the application of the common law as modified or preempted by the regulations of the DOT. Such regulations give domestic airline passengers greater or lesser rights than would otherwise be available at common law. These regulations raise the following additional issues.

  1. If the flight was regularly scheduled domestic air transportation then the passenger ticket may contain disclaimers which limit the airline's liability for flight delays. Under what circumstances are these disclaimers enforceable?
  2. Was the flight part of a Public Charter Tour?
  3. Was the delay caused by airline overbooking or discrimination?
  4. Was the passenger detained because he was unruly or otherwise a threat to the safety and well being of the other passengers on the aircraft?

Domestic Flight Delays

Air transportation is sold to the general public with the promise that it will depart and arrive at specific times on specific dates. Applying the common law some courts have held that a failure to deliver air transportation " on time " is a breach of contract [ Farmilant v. Singapore Airlines, Ltd.67 ( flight delay was a " tortious breach of contract " )]. The breach must be material and may be:
  1. 2 hours and 16 minutes [ Liechtung v. Tower Air, Inc.68( flight misrepresented as " non-stop " stops over in Paris causing a delay in arriving in Tel Aviv )];
  2. 3 hours [ Sporn v. Metro International69 ( 3 hour delay when airline loans aircraft to film company for background to a movie )];
  3. 8 ½ hours [ Koczara v. Wayne County70 ( snowstorm at airport results in the stranding of hundreds of passengers on aircraft queued on taxiways for up to 8 ½ hours without food service and toilets overflowing )];
  4. 10 hours [ Freedman v. Northwest Airlines Inc.71 ( exculpatory clause in tariff not enforced in breach of contract claim arising from a 10 hour flight delay ) ];
  5. 2 days [ Prechtl v. Travel House of Garden City72 ( flight from Seattle to Hawaii canceled by airline which never informed travel agent who relied upon information in computer reservations system; passengers waited sleepless in Seattle for two days for flight to Hawaii )] and
  6. 2 ½ days [( Klakis v. Nationwide Leisure Corp.73 ( charter tour participants stranded for 2 ½ days at airport during snowstorm )].

Such a breach of the contract of carriage may also constitute negligence [ Reservation Desk v. A.L.I.A.74 ( air carrier liable in negligence for failure to advise travel agency that reservations could not be confirmed ); Sporn v. Metro International Airways75 ( 3 hour flight delay may be the result of negligence ] and fraud [ Jawal v. British Airways76 ( passenger detained because of stolen tickets )].

Some Courts, however, have refused to find a breach of the contract of carriage stating that timetables do not constitute a " warranty of punctuality " [ Chendrimada v. Air-India77 ( passengers forced to stay on aircraft for 11 ½ hours; flight schedules are not guarantees ); Padua v. Eastern Air Lines, Inc.78 ( ticket clause stating that timetables not guaranteed enforced; no liability for flight delay and missed connection ); Robinson v. American Airlines79 ]. The contract of carriage applies to point-to-point air transportation. There is no continuing common law contractual duty to the passenger once he or she disembarks the aircraft [ Martinez v. American Airlines80 ( passenger suffered medical difficulties after arrival at initial destination; airline has no obligation to assist him or transport him to his final destination after becoming ill )].

Disclaimers In Passenger Tickets

Domestic air carriers are permitted by the DOT to file tariffs81 which seek to limit their liability and damages for flight delays and other travel problems and to incorporate those terms by reference in the passenger ticket [ Wolst v. American Airlines, Inc.82, ( discussion of the incorporation by reference system )].

From a practical standpoint this means that passengers are unable to discover the actual terms and conditions of the contract of carriage by, simply, examining their airline ticket. Interested passengers must ask the airline for a copy of the full contract of carriage.

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Consumers Should Obtain A Summary Of The Contract Of Carriage

Airline passengers may obtain a summary of the terms and conditions of the contract of carriage of all domestic airlines by contacting the Air Transport Association of America, Washington, D.C. ( ATA ) at air-transport.org and requesting a copy of Air Transport Association Conditions Of Contract, Summary Of Incorporated Terms, 2000. This document allows consumers to compare the contracts of all domestic airlines and select that air carrier which best protects the passenger from flight delays, cancellations, lost, damaged or stolen baggage and other common travel problems.

Sample Domestic Airline Disclaimers 2000-2001

The ATA's Summary Of Incorporated Terms contains terms and conditions (1) seeking to limit an airline's liability and damages for flight delays and schedule changes83 and (2) setting forth each airline's rules on reservations, check-in times and refusals to carry84. A sampling of these terms and conditions for 2000-2001 appears in the footnotes and should be reviewed by the consumer.

Are These Disclaimers Enforceable?

Airlines place over-reaching disclaimers in their contracts of carriage to discourage passengers from enforcing their rights. Passengers who suffer damages arising from flight delays and cancellations should consider going to Small Claims Court ( see below ). Flight delay disclaimers may or may not be enforceable and should be tested in Court against a standard of what the airline promised and what the consumer should reasonably expect in terms of the delivery of timely air transportation.

Flight Delay Disclaimers Enforced

Some Courts have enforced flight delay disclaimers appearing in passenger tickets [ Norman v. Trans World Airlines, Inc.85 ( passenger properly removed from aircraft; " The contract of carriage provision applicable...TWA tariff...provides that a passenger's remedy for TWA's refusal to transport her is a refund of the fare that she paid, plus applicable tax and charges for the unused portion of her ticket, upon the passenger's request "; punitive damages may not be recovered ); Padua v. Eastern Air Lines, Inc.86 ( ticket clause stating that timetables not guaranteed enforced; no liability for flight delay and missed connection ); Macintosh v. Interface Group87 ( unruly passenger removed from aircraft; air carrier tariff " Carrier will refuse to carry, cancel the reserved space of, or remove en route any passenger (a) When such action is necessary for reasons of safety " enforced ); Cenci v. Mall Airways, Inc.88 ( canceled flight; tariff disclaiming liability for any damages enforced ); Guerrero v. American Airlines, Inc.89 ( tariff disclaiming liability for overbooking and changing seats enforced ); Carro v. Parente World Travel Center90 ( failure to include air tickets in package tour; air carrier tariff denying boarding without proper tickets enforced ); Robinson v. American Airlines91 ( passenger missed flight because airline advanced departure time by ten minutes; ticket disclaimer " Carrier shall not be liable for failing to operate any flight according to schedule " enforced ); Sethi v. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines92 ( passenger denied boarding because of improper visas; tariff disclaiming liability for misinformation enforced ); Madia v. Austin Travel Agency93 ( passengers denied entry because of improper visas; tariffs absolving airline of liability enforced )].

Flight Delay Disclaimers Not Enforced

Other Courts have refused to enforce flight delay disclaimers appearing in passenger tickets [ Alstrom Machinery, Inc. v. Associated Airfreight, Inc94. ( air carrier breached contract in failing to deliver cargo notwithstanding force majeure clause and unanticipated snowstorm ); Coughlin v. Trans World Airlines, Inc.95 ( violation of tariff voids liability limit ); Freedman v. Northwest Airlines, Inc.96 ( exculpatory clause in ticket not enforced in breach of contract claim arising from 10 hour flight delay ); Klakis v. Nationwide Leisure Corp.97 ( 2 ½ day flight delay; disclaimer which strikes at heart of the bargain unenforceable ); Larken v. Tourlite International, Inc.98 ( tour operator liable for failing to deliver return air transportation; disclaimers unenforceable ) ].

Privity Of Contract Defense

An air carrier hired by a tour operator may claim that the passenger has no standing to assert a flight delay claim [ Carro v. Parente World Travel Center 99( travel agent failed to deliver air tickets; summary judgment for air carrier and tour operator; lack of privity of contract )]. Some Courts have held, however, that passengers are third party beneficiaries of the contracts between air carriers and tour operators and have standing to assert a cause of action against the air carrier [ Neal v. Republic Airlines100; Harris v. Waikane Corp.101; Agosto v. Leisure World Travel, Inc.102 ( tour operator of Rose Bowl package tours fails to deliver rental cars; participants are third party beneficiaries of contract between tour operator and rental car company )].

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Act Of God Defense/Force Majeure

The airline may claim that it was prevented from delivering timely air transportation because of an Act of God [ The Majestic103 ( " the act of God is limited...to causes in which no man has any agency whatever; because it was never intended to arise " )] such as a snowstorm [ Klakis v. Nationwide Leisure Corp104. ( charter tour passengers stuck at airport for 2 ½ days during snowstorm )], a typhoon or volcanic eruption [ De Vera v. Japan Airlines105 ( Manila Airport closed because of volcano and typhoon ) ] or a force majeure such as a revolution or civil disorder [ Jamil v. Kuwait Corp106.( flight delayed 4 days due to coup in Pakistan )] or a pilot's strike [ Leake v. American Airlines, Inc.107 ( passengers missed cruise because of airline strike )]. To prevail, however, the air carrier must establish a causal connection between the Act Of God or force majeure and its failure to deliver timely air transportation. In addition, the air carrier must prove that it acted reasonably to reinstitute the flight once the snowstorm or unexpected event ceased and the airport completed clean-up operations [ Bernstein v. Cunard Line, Ltd.108 ].

Mechanical Malfunction Defense

The air carrier may assert that the delay was caused by a mechanical malfunction. Such a defense is unlikely to be accepted by the Courts unless the air carrier can prove that the malfunction was truly unforeseeable [ Feuer v. Value Vacations, Inc.109 ( 48 hour delay due to engine malfunction; disclaimer void )].

Public Charter Tours

If the air transportation is part of a Public Charter Tour then the duties of both the air carrier and tour operator are governed by DOT regulations [ 14 Code of Federal Regulations Sections 207, 208 & 380 ]. The air carrier is, for example, obligated to return passengers stranded abroad after a tour operator becomes insolvent110 Some Courts have held the Public Charter Tour Operator liable for the flight delays caused by a cooperating charter air carrier and other travel suppliers [ Irving Trust Company v. Nationwide Leisure Corp.111 ( tour operator strictly liable as principal for defaults of hotels and air carriers in failing to deliver travel services )].

Other Courts, however, have enforced disclaimers in the tour participant contract absolving tour operators for flight delays [ Accomando v. Trans NationalTravel112 ( tour operator not liable for 36 hour flight delay; disclaimer enforced )]. Both Public Charter Tour Operators and cooperating air carriers are required to place consumer deposits into escrow accounts [ Neilan v. Value Vacations, Inc.1138,000 passengers stranded; escrow bank liable for failing to properly handle escrowed monies )] and/or to have surety bonds to protect consumer deposits [ Irving Trust Company v. Nationwide Leisure Corp.114 ( surety bonds cover all types of claims against tour operator )].

Airline Overbooking

On occasion passengers with confirmed reservations may be " bumped " because the airline has oversold the flight. Domestic air carriers are permitted to deliberately breach the contract of carriage on the theory that it is more efficient to oversell a flight than to fly an aircraft half-empty. If they overbook a specific flight the air carrier must comply with DOT " Part 250-Oversales "115 regulations which require an " auction " procedure whereby " bumped " passengers may obtain a seat if seated passengers can be induced to give up their position. Otherwise the air carrier must compensate the bumped passenger " at the rate of 200 percent of the sum of the values of the passenger's remaining flight coupons up to the passenger's next stopover, or if none, to the passenger's final destination, with a maximum of $400 "116 If the bumped passenger does not accept the denied boarding compensation then he or she may sue at common law for breach of contract or negligence.

Airline Overbooking Damages

While bumped passengers may not sue for fraud and punitive damages [ West v. Northwest Airlines, Inc.117 ( " Federal regulations contemplate overbooking as an acceptable practice so long as passengers received compensation " )] they may sue for compensatory damages alleging a breach of the contract of carriage [ Semrod v. Compania Mexicana De Aviacion118 ( overbooking; breach of contract damages include $3000 for loss of one vacation day; food allowance of $300 and a room allowance of $250 per day ); Lopez v. Eastern Airlines, Inc.119 ( actual compensatory damages awarded to passenger bumped from flight due to overbooking )].

Unruly Passengers

Passengers may be removed from airplanes because their actions may endanger the safety of the other passengers. Such grounds may serve as a defense in a passenger's action seeking damages for flight delays [ Schaeffer v. Cavallero120 ( passenger removed from aircraft after dispute over carry-on luggage ); Zuliana de Aviacion v. Herrera121 ( passengers removed from aircraft, placed in airport bathroom and strip searched including a body cavity search; compensatory and punitive damages awarded ); Norman v. Trans World Airlines, Inc.122 ( passenger properly removed from aircraft ); Singh v. Tarom Romanian Air Transport123 ( passenger removed from aircraft and detained for 6 days ); Donkor v. British Airways, Corp.124( passenger detained and deported from England ); Macintosh v. Interface Group125 ( passenger removed from aircraft, arrested, jailed and charged with breach of the peace ); USA v. Grossman126 ( passenger convicted of having assaulted and intimidated flight attendant ); Huggar v. Northwest Airlines, Inc.127 ( passenger removed from aircraft after threatening another passenger over the use of overhead bin ) ].

Damages For Domestic Flight Delays & Cancellations

Damages arising from a canceled flight may consist of the cost of alternate air transportation which is more expensive than the original flight [ McMurray v. Capital International Airways, Inc.128 ]. Consequential damages for cancellations and fight delays that are reasonably foreseeable are recoverable [ Reservation Desk v. ALIA129 ( air carrier liable for all consequential damages for failure to deliver air >transportation ); Smith v. Piedmont Aviation, Inc<130. ( delay due to bad weather; air carrier liable for consequential damages )] including $3,000 for the loss of one vacation day [ Semrod v. Compania Mexicana De Aviacion131 ], $2,500 for the loss of " a refreshing memorable vacation " [ Vick v. National Airlines, Inc.132, ] and $240 for " waiting time " [ Das v. Royal Jordanian Airlines133 ][ See also the cases discussed below in International Flight Delay Damages ].

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International Flight Delays

If the delayed flight was international then the Warsaw Convention and its progeny may apply. If the Warsaw Convention does not apply because the countries of departure and destination  have not signed the Warsaw Convention then the law of the country having the greatest contacts to the incident may apply [ Barkanic v. General Administration of Civil Aviation134 ( air disaster; China not a signatory to Warsaw Convention; Chinese law applied on issue of recoverable damages; $20,000 maximum allowable ); Glavey v. Aer Lingus135 ( passenger refused boarding; statute of limitations for asserting claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress determined by law of New York and not that of Ireland ); Macintosh v. Interface Group136 ( unruly passenger removed from aircraft; Connecticut law applies to claims )].

If the Warsaw Convention does apply then the obligations of the international air carrier are set forth in Article 19 of the Warsaw Convention [ " The carrier shall be liable for damage occasioned by delay in the transportation by air of passengers, baggage, or goods "137 ]. To establish liability the passenger must show that:

  1. The air carrier accepted the passenger on the flight [ Malik v. Gulf Air138( international bumping causes delay; Article 19 of the Warsaw Convention applies )],
  2. The delay was material [ Tasar v. Pakistan International Airlines139 ] and (3) the delay caused the injury being alleged [ Jamil v. Kuwait Airways Corp.140 ( four day delay; damages from loss of business opportunity not foreseeable )].

International Flight Delay Damages

The Warsaw Convention permits the recovery of:
  1. Compensatory damages which are reasonable and foreseeable,
  2. Damages for inconvenience but
  3. Bars the recovery of punitive damages [ Daniel v. Virgin Atlantic Airways141 ( 25 hour flight delay; damages for inconvenience are recoverable ); Harplani v. Air-India142 ( 6 day delay in India; compensatory but not punitive damages are recoverable ); Pakistan Arts v. Pakistan International Airlines143 ( 2 day delay in Pakistan causes cancellation of concert in New York City; all contemplated and foreseeable damages recoverable ); Saiyed v. Transmediterranean Airways144 ( delayed shipment of goods; all consequential damages recoverable up to limits provided in the Warsaw Convention ); Kupferman v. Pakistan International Airlines145 ( baggage delayed 15 days during tour of South America; passengers were entitled to " fair and just compensation for physical discomfort, inconvenience, humiliation, embarrassment and loss of a refreshing memorable vacation " )]

All Necessary Measures

However, the air carrier may be able to escape liability if it can show that it took " all necessary measures to avoid the damage or...it was impossible ...to take such measures<146 "[ Duff v. Trans World Airlines, Inc.147 ( flight delay; all necessary measures taken ); Peralta v Continental Airlines, Inc148 ( passenger removed from aircraft because ticket appeared altered; airline took all necessary measures to get passenger to Costa Rica after establishing that ticket was valid ); Obuzor v. Sabena Belgian World Airlines149)( 5 day flight delay; airline took all necessary measures to avoid delay )].

Wilful Misconduct

The Warsaw Convention provides in Article 25 that the air carrier may not " exclude or limit " its liability if the delay is caused by its wilful misconduct. Proving wilful misconduct is difficult but it has been done in cases involving flight delays [ Tasar v. Pakistan International Airlines150( delay in the delivery of a casket for a funeral; wilful misconduct proven )], baggage loss or delay in delivery [ Bank of Nova Scotia v. Pan American World Airways, Inc.151 ( failure to follow internal procedures regarding loss of gold is wilful misconduct ); Cohen v. Varig Airlines, Inc.152( failure to deliver baggage during extended tour of South America is wilful misconduct ); Kupferman v. Pakistan International Airlines153( wilful misconduct in the handling of baggage )] and physical injuries and death [ Shah v. Pan American World Services, Inc154 ( hijacking in Karachi, Pakistan; fraudulent misrepresentation of adequacy of security system is wilful misconduct ); In re Air Disaster at Lockerbie155 ( bomb explodes on aircraft; failure to comply with FAA regulations in screening baggage is wilful misconduct )].

Small Claims Court

Passengers who suffer damages from flight delays or cancellations should consider pursuing their claims in Small Claims Courts. Such Courts are, generally, inexpensive, user friendly, informal judicial environments which are often receptive to aggrieved consumers.

See our Web article The Consumer's Guide To Small Claims Court And How To Use Federal And New York State Consumer Protection Statutes at http://www.courts.state.ny.us/tandv/sccarb.htm

Flight Delay Class Actions

Class actions allow many similar claims to be aggregated into one lawsuit for discovery, trial and/or settlement156 Passengers victimized by the same canceled flight [ Neilan v. Value Vacations157 ( 2,000 stranded passengers )] or delayed flight have been certified as a class and allowed to assert class wide claims for breach of contract, negligence and fraud [ Irving Trust Company v. Nationwide Leisure Corp158.( charter passengers delayed 2 ½ days because of snowstorm )]. Class actions arising from a failure to deliver a " non-stop " flight [ Liechtung v. Tower Air, Inc.159 ( unexpected stop over caused a delay of 2 hours and 16 minutes ) and the standing passengers for 8 ½ hours in aircraft on runaways during a snowstorm in Michigan [ Koczara v. Wayne County160] have also been certified.

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FOOTNOTES

[1]. Dickerson, Flight Delays: Rights, Remedies, Damages & Class Actions, International Travel Law Journal, Issue Two, Spring, 2000.

[2]. Thomas A. Dickerson is a Westchester County Court Judge with a Web Page at http://members.aol.com/judgetad/index.html. Judge Dickerson is the author of Travel Law, Law Journal Press, New York, 1981-2001, see http://members.aol.com/travellaw/index.html, Class Actions: The Law of 50 States, Law Journal Press, New York, 1988-2001, see http://members.aol.com/class50/index.html, and over 180 articles and papers on consumer law, travel law and class actions, see Judge Dickerson decisions athttp://www.courts.state.ny.us/search/query.asp.

[3].  Wald, Getting There: A Reality Check, N.Y. Times, Sunday Travel Section, June 25, 2000, p. 12.

[4]. Leonhardt, Promises In The Sky, N.Y. Times, Sunday Travel Section, June 25, 2000, p. 13.

[5]. Wade, Practical Traveler, A Flier's Guide To Complaining, N.Y. Times Sunday Travel Section, March 12, 2000, p. 4.

[6]. Wade, Practical Traveler, Coping With Canceled Flights, N.Y. Times Travel Section, June 25, 2000, p. 4.

[7]. Wald, Getting There: A Reality Check, N.Y. Times, Sunday Travel Section, June 25, 2000, p. 16.

[8]. Obuzor v. Sabena Belgian World Airlines, 1999 WL 223162 ( S.D.N.Y. 1999 ).

[9]. Pakistan Arts v. Pakistan International Airlines, 232 A.D. 2d 29, 660 N.Y.S. 2d 741 ( 1997 ).

[10]. In Re Arrow Air, Inc., 85 Bankr. 886 ( Bankr. S.D. Fla. 1988 ).

[11]. Daniel v. Virgin Atlantic Limited, 59 F. Supp. 2d 986 ( N.D. Cal. 1998 ).

[12]. Arkin v. Trans International Airlines, 20 CCH Aviation Cases 17,835 ( 2d Cir. 1987 ).

[13]. Burke v. Air France, 21 CCH Aviation Cases 18,170 ( D.P.R. 1988 ).

[14]. In re Eastern Airlines, Inc. Engine Failure in Miami International Airport on May 5, 1983, 629 F. Supp. 307 ( S.D. Fla. 1986 ).

[15]. DeVera v. Japan Airlines, 24 CCH Aviation Cases 18,317 ( S.D.N.Y. 1994 ).

[16]. Johnson v. Northwest Orient Airlines, 17 CCH Aviation Cases 17,220 ( Mont. Sup. 1982 ).

[17]. Klakis v. Nationwide Leisure Corp., 73 A.D. 2d 521, 422 N.Y.S. 2d 407 ( 1979 ).

[18]. Robinson v. American Airlines, New York Law Journal, June 19, 1995, p. 33, col. 5 ( White Plains City Ct. 1995 ).

[19]. Prechtl v. Travel House of Garden City, 17 CCH Aviation Cases 17,182 ( N.Y. Civ. 1980 ), mod'd 17 CCH Aviation Cases 17,183 ( N.Y. App. Term. 1981 ).

[20]. Shah v. Pan American World Services, Inc., 148 F. 3d 84 ( 2d Cir. 1998 ).

[21]. In re Air Disaster at Lockerbie, 24 CCH Aviation Cases 18,252 ( 2d Cir. 1994 ).

[22]. In re Flight Explosion on TQA Aircraft, 23 CCH Aviation Cases 18,048 ( E.D.N.Y. 1991 ).

[23]. Mohideen v. American Airlines, Inc., 27 CCH Aviation Cases 17,242 ( S.D.N.Y. 1999 ).

[24]. Bayne v. Adventure Tours USA, 24 CCH Aviation Cases 18,004 ( N.D. Tex. 1994 ).

[25]. Curley v. AMR Corp., 846 F. Supp. 280 ( S.D.N.Y. 1994 ), aff'd 153 F. 3d 5 ( 2d Cir. 1997 ).

[26]. Rombom v. United Air Lines, 867 F. Supp. 214 ( S.D.N.Y. 1994 ).

[27]. Zuliana de Aviacion v. Herrera, 763 So. 2d 499 ( Fla. App. 2000 ).

[28]. Uwagbai v. Alitalia Airlines, 24 CCH Aviation Cases 17,811 ( D. Mass. 1994 ).

[29]. Norman v. Trans World Airlines, Inc., 2000 WL 1480367 ( S.D.N.Y. 2000 ).

[30]. Singh v. Tarom Romanian Air Transport, 88 F. Supp. 2d 62 ( E.D.N.Y. 2000 ).

[31]. Donkor v. British Airways, Corp., 62 F. Supp. 2d 963 ( E.D.N.Y. 1999 ).

[32]. Macintosh v. Interface Group, 1999 Mass. Super. LEXIS 3 ( Mass. Super. 1999 ).

[33]. USA v. Grossman, 131 F. 3d 1449 ( 11th Cir. 1997 ).

[34]. Newman v. American Airlines, Inc., 1999 WL 261560 ( 9th Cir. 1999 ).

[35]. Brandt v. American Airlines, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3164 ( N.D. Cal. 2000 ).

[36]. Rivera v. Delta Air Lines, Inc., 26 CCH Aviation Cases 15,129 ( E.D. Pa. 1997 ).

[37]. Okwa v. Harper, 360 Md. 161, 757 A. 2d 118 ( 2000 ).

[38]. Chukwu v. British Airways, 1995 WL 379405 ( D. Mass. 1995 ).

[39]. Glavey v. Aer Lingus, 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10498 ( S.D.N.Y. 1999 ).

[40]. Lathigra v. British Airways, 41 F. 3d 535 ( 9th Cir. 1994 ).

[41]. El-Menshawy v. Egypt Air, 276 N.J. Super. 121, 647 A. 2d 49 ( 1994 ).

[42]. Burnap v. Tribeca Travel, 21 CCH Aviation Cases 17,321 ( N.Y. Civ. 1988 ).

[43]. Mohideen v. American Airlines, Inc., 27 CCH Aviation Cases 17,242 ( S.D.N.Y. 1999 ).

[44]. Owolabi v. Air France, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3208 ( S.D.N.Y. 2000 ).

[45]. Quinn v. National Railroad Passenger Corp., 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12907 ( N.D. Ill. 1999 ).

[46]. Pearson v. Lake Forest Country Day School, 262 Ill. App. 3d 228, 199 Ill. Dec. 324, 633 N.E. 2d 1315 ( 1994 ).

[47].Minhas v. Biman Bangladesh Airlines, 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9849 ( S.D.N.Y. 1999 ).

[48]. Lopez v. Eastern Airlines, Inc., 677 F. Supp. 181 ( S.D.N.Y. 1988 ).

[49]. Guerrero v. American Airlines, Inc., 26 CCH Aviation Cases 15,624 ( S.D.N.Y. 1998 ).

[50]. Norman v. Trans World Airlines, Inc., 2000 WL 1480367 ( S.D.N.Y. 2000 ).

[51]. Hermano v. United Airlines, 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19808 ( N.D. Cal. 1999 ).

[52]. Montanez v. Solstar Corp., 46 F. Supp. 2d 101 ( D.P.R. 1999 ).

[53]. Huggar v. Northwest Airlines, Inc., 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1026 ( N.D. Ill. 1999 ).

[54]. Smith v. Gerber, 1999 WL 622963 ( N.D. Ill. 1999 ).

[55]. Schaeffer v. Cavallero, 54 F. Supp. 2d 350 ( S.D.N.Y. 1999 ).

[56]. Rombom v. United Air Lines, Inc., 867 F. Supp. 214 ( S.D.N.Y. 1994 ).

[57]. Owolabi v. Air France, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3208 ( S.D.N.Y. 2000 ).

[58]. Shupe v. American Airlines, Inc., 24 CCH Aviation Cases 18,391 ( Tex. App. 1995 ).

[59]. Lewis v. Continental Airlines, Inc., 40 F. Supp. 2d 406 ( S.D. Tex. 1999 ).

[60]. Siben v. American Airlines, Inc., 913 F. Supp. 271 ( S.D.N.Y. 1996 ).

[61]. Carro v. Parente World Travel Center, 23 CCH Aviation Cases 18,345 ( N.D. Ohio 1991 ).

[62]. Jamil v. Kuwait Airways Corp., 772 F. Supp. 482 ( D.D.C. ).

[63]. Daniel v. Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited, 59 F. Supp. 2d 986 ( N.D. Cal. 1998 ).

[64]. Ragonese v. Rosenfeld, 318 N.J. Super. 63, 722 A. 2d 991 ( 1998 ).

[65]. Romero v. American Airlines, Inc., 194 F. 3d 288 ( 1st Cir. 1999 ).

[66].Peralta v. Continental Airlines, Inc., 1999 WL 193393 ( N.D. Cal. 1999 ).

[67]. Farmilant v. Singapore Airlines, Ltd., 18 CCH Aviation Cases 17,430 ( N.D. Ill. 1983 ).

[68].Liechtung v. Tower Air, Inc., 269 A.D. 2d 363, 702 N.Y.S. 2d 111 ( 2000 ).

[69]. Sporn v. Metro International Airways, Inc., 17 CCH Aviation Cases 18,207 ( N.Y. Sup. 1983 ).

[70]. Koczara v. Wayne County, Index No. 99-900422, Wayne Cty. Cir. Ct., Michigan.

[71]. Freedman v. Northwest Airlines Inc., 25 CCH Aviation Cases 17,299 ( N.Y. Civ. 1996 ).

[72]. Prechtl v. Travel House of Garden City, 17 CCH Aviation Cases 17,182 ( N.Y. Civ. 1980 ), mod'd 17 CCH Aviation Cases 17,183 ( N.Y. App. Term. 1981 ).

[73]. Klakis v. Nationwide Leisure Corp., 73 A.D. 2d 521, 422 N.Y.S. 2d 407 ( 1979 ).

[74]. Reservation Desk v. A.L.I.A., 21 CCH Aviation Cases 17,529 ( N.D. Tex. 1988 ).

[75]. Sporn v. Metro International Airways, Inc., 17 CCH Aviation Cases 18,207 ( N.Y. Sup. 1983 ).

[76]. Jawal v. British Airways, 812 F. Supp. 713 (S.D. Texas 1992 ).

[77]. Chendrimada v. Air-India, 802 F. Supp. 1089 ( S.D.N.Y. 1992 ).

[78]. Padua v. Eastern Air Lines, Inc., 21 CCH Aviation Cases 17,716 ( P.R. Sup. 1988 ).

[79]. Robinson v. American Airlines, New York Law Journal, June 19, 1995, p. 33, col. 5 ( N.Y. Civ. 1995 ).

[80]. Martinez v. American Airlines, 74 F. 3d 247 ( 11th Cir. 1996 ).

[81]. A summary of each airline's contract terms may be found in United States Air Carriers, Conditions of Contract, Summary of Incorporated Terms ( Domestic Air Transportation ) published by the Air Transport Association of America, Washington, D.C.

[82]. Wolst v. American Airlines, Inc., 668 F. Supp. 1117 ( N.D. Ill. 1987 ).

[83]. Sample terms and conditions for flight delays and schedule changes appearing in Air Transport Association Conditions Of Contract, Summary Of Incorporated Terms, 2000.

Aloha Airlines, Inc.: " Aloha will not be responsible for damages resulting from the failure to depart or arrive at times stated in the timetable, nor for errors therein, nor for failure to make connections...Aloha will use its best efforts to carry the passenger and baggage with reasonable dispatch. Times shown in timetables or elsewhere are not guaranteed and form no part of the contract. Aloha may without notice substitute alternate carriers or aircraft and may alter or omit stopping places shown on the ticket in case of necessity. Schedules are subject to change without notice. "

America West Airlines, Inc.: " (b) Schedule irregularity... America West shall not be liable for failing to operate any flight according to schedule or for changing the schedule or type of equipment used on any flight, with or without notice to the passenger. To the extent possible, America West will provide onward transportation to passengers delayed or misconnected due to schedule irregularities or cancellation of flights or services. If the delay or misconnection is caused by America West ( it ) will transport the passenger without stopover on its next available flight in the same or higher class of service, at no additional cost to the passenger...(c) Schedule changes. When a passenger will be delayed because of a change in America West's schedule, America West will arrange to transport the passenger over its own lines to the destination, next stopover point or transfer point...at no additional cost...When America West's schedule change results in the cancellation of all America West service between two cities, America West will reroute passengers...over the lines of another carrier...Purchase of a ticket does not guarantee transportation. America shall in no event be liable for any indirect, special or consequential damages resulting from the performance or delay in performance of, or failure to perform, transportation of passengers and other services incidental thereto...whether or not America West had knowledge that such damages might be incurred. "

Comair, Inc.: " Comair will endeavor to carry the passenger and baggage with reasonable dispatch, but times shown in timetables or elsewhere are not guaranteed and are subject to change without notice. Comair may, without notice, substitute, add, or omit stopping places shown on the ticket. Comair is not responsible or liable for failure to make connections or to operate flight according to schedule, or for changing the schedule of any flight. Under no circumstances shall Comair be liable for any special or consequential damages. "

Continental Airlines: " If the customer's delay or misconnection is caused by Continental, (it) will use its best efforts to arrange onward transportation that is acceptable to the customer. Continental will re-accommodate the customer on the next available flight on any carrier...at the same or higher class of service, at no additional cost...Continental reserves the right to collect a Service Charge for the refund of tickets, for the replacement of lost tickets, for the purchase of tickets to be issued at a later date...or for any reissue of tickets when done so at the customer's request. Customers with special or discount fare tickets who voluntarily change their reservations and/or itinerary, are subject to being charged an Additional Collection...Certain special fare tickets may be nonrefundable."

Delta Air Lines: " Delta will use its best efforts to carry the passenger and baggage with reasonable dispatch. Times shown in timetables or elsewhere are not guaranteed and form no part of this contract. Delta may, without notice, substitute alternate carriers or aircraft, and may alter or omit stopping places shown on the ticket in case of necessity. Schedules are subject to change without notice. Delta is not responsible or liable for making connections, or for failing to operate any flight according to schedule, or for changing the schedule of any flight ".

Midwest Express Airlines: " Purchase of a ticket does not guarantee transportation. MEA will in no event be liable for any indirect, special or consequential damages resulting from the performance or delay in performance of, or failure to perform, transportation of passengers and other related services...whether or not MEA had knowledge such changes might be incurred. "

Southwest Airlines Co.: " Southwest will use its best efforts to carry the passenger and baggage with reasonable dispatch. Times shown in timetables or elsewhere are not guaranteed and form no part of the Contract of Carriage. Southwest may, without notice, substitute alternate aircraft, and may alter or omit stopping places...Schedules are subject to change without notice. Southwest is not responsible or liable for making connections, or failing to operate any flight according to schedule, or for changing the schedule of any flight. "

Trans World Airlines, Inc.: " Ticket Transferability. Tickets are not transferable. TWA is not liable to the owner of a ticket for honoring such ticket when presented by another person. Failure to Operate on Schedule or to Provide Transportation. Times shown in TWA's timetables and elsewhere are not guaranteed and are not part of its conditions of carriage. TWA may without notice substitute alternate carriers or aircraft, and may alter or omit stopping places shown on the ticket in case of necessity. Schedules are subject to change and flights subject to cancellation without notice. If the passenger is delayed due to flight cancellation...delay in scheduled departure or arrival, substitution of equipment, schedule changes, misconnection or cancellation of reservations...or circumstances beyond TWA's control, TWA will transport the passenger at no additional cost on the next TWA flight if space is available in the same class of service...Involuntary Refunds, TWA will refund the total fare and charges paid when the passenger has been diverted to a point other than the ticketed connection or destination point. TWA will refund the applicable fare between the point of flight termination on TWA and the ticketed TWA destination...When for operational reasons...a ticketed passenger holding confirmed reservations is downgraded to a different class of service, TWA will refund the difference, if any, between the fare paid and the fare applicable to the substituted class of service ".

United Airlines, Inc.: " (a) The following provisions apply only to a passenger who has a ticket and a confirmed reservation...(d) Amenities/services for delayed passengers...Lodging. Passengers will be provided one night's lodging, or a maximum allowance for one night's lodging as established by each location, when a UA flight on which the passenger is being transported is diverted to an unscheduled point and the delay at such point is expected to exceed four hours during the period 10:00PM to 6:00AM. Exception: Hotel accommodations will not be furnished: (1) To a passenger whose trip is interrupted at a city which is his origin point, stopover point, connecting point or his permanent domicile, or (2) When the flight on which the passenger is being transported is diverted to another city or airport in the same metropolitan area...as the destination designated on the passenger's ticket "...(e) Times shown in a timetable or elsewhere are not guaranteed and form no part of the contract of carriage...".

[84]. Sample rules for reconfirmation, check-in times and refusals to carry appearing in Air Transport Association Conditions Of Contract, Summary Of Incorporated Terms, 2000.

America West Airlines, Inc.: " (a)... America West does not require reconfirmation of reservations. (b)...A reservation for space on a given flight will be honored when the availability and allocation of such space is confirmed by a reservation agent...Such reservation is subject to cancellation...without notice if the passenger has not obtained validated ticket specifying his/her confirmed reserved space at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time of the flight...America West will cancel reservations of any passenger: (I) whenever such action is necessary to comply with any governmental regulation...or such action is necessary...by reason of weather or other conditions beyond America West's control; (ii) if the passenger fails to occupy space which has been reserved for him/her...and America West fails to receive notice of the cancellation...; and (iii) who is unable to present him/herself for check-in at least 10 minutes prior to departure due to the late arrival of an inbound connecting flight...If a flight is overbooked and America West is unable to honor a confirmed reservation, denied boarding compensation will be given...(c) Check-in times. America West will cancel the reservations of any passenger who is unable to present him/herself to the loading gate for boarding at least 10 minutes ( for domestic flights ) and 60 minutes ( for international flights ) before the scheduled or revised posted departure time for a flight even if the passenger has already checked-in for the flight at a location designated for such purposes...(d) Refusals to carry. America West may refuse to transport any passenger for several reasons, including: compliance with governmental regulation or requisition of space, when advisable by reason of weather or other conditions, refusal or failure by a passenger to permit a search of person or to produce positive identification or valid documentation for international travel, that the person appears to be intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, is unable to sit in a seat with the seatbelt fastened, requires an onboard stretcher kit..., is seriously ill and who cannot provide a physician's written permission to fly, is pregnant and expecting delivery within seven days unless a doctor's certificate is provided, requires oxygen...is an unaccompanied child under five years of age; or whose behavior may be hazardous to himself/herself, the crew or other passengers. "

Comair, Inc.: " A. Reconfirmation of reservations six (6) hours prior to scheduled departure is requested on COMAIR flights after a stopover of twelve hours or more. B. Passengers who have not checked in, received their boarding pass, and are at the boarding point ready to board the aircraft at least ten (10 ) minutes before scheduled departure are subject to having all reservations in their ticket itineraries canceled. C. Refusal to Transport-COMAIR will refuse to transport or will remove, an any point, any passenger for the following reasons:...(2) Refusal... to permit a search of person or property for explosives, or for deadly, controlled or dangerous weapons, articles or substances. (3) Refusal...to produce positive identification ...(4) Failure...to possess all valid documents ( passports, visas ) required by the laws of the countries from, over, or into which ( the passenger will fly...(5) Passenger's conduct is disorderly, abusive or violent, or passenger: (a) appears to be intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, (b) attempts to interfere with any member of the flight crew...(c) appears to be mentally unstable, (d) refuses to obey instructions from any flight crew member, or (e) engages in any action that might jeopardize the safety of the aircraft or any of its occupants....(7) Persons who are inadequately clothed. (8) Unaccompanied minors under the age of five...(9) Persons who have to be seated in a reclined position. (10) Disabled or physically challenged persons who cannot be sufficiently secured by a seat belt..."

Continental Airlines: " Customers are required to purchase their tickets no less than 30 minutes prior to departure, and must present themselves at the loading gate for boarding no less than 10 minutes before the scheduled departure of the flight ( 30 minutes international departures )...Failure to comply ( with these ruled ) could result in a customer's reservations being canceled. International customers who break their journey for 72 hours or more are required to reconfirm their onward or return reservations at least 24 hours in advance of the flight's scheduled departure. This ( rule ) does not apply to ravel to and from Mexico...Continental will refuse to transport or will remove...any customer for ( the reasons noted in Comair's terms and conditions of contract of carriage ) "

Delta Air Lines, Inc.: " A. Delta has no reconfirmation requirements for domestic flights. B. Reservations of passengers presenting themselves at the airport loading gate less than ten minutes before scheduled departure are subject to cancellation, and denied boarding compensation will not be applicable. Passengers with reserved seat assignments must check in at least 20 minutes before scheduled departure...C. Refusal to transport...(5) Passenger's conduct is disorderly, abusive or violent or passenger...(c) has a contagious disease that poses a threat to the health or safety of others and may be transmissible...(d) has a malodorous condition "

Northwest Airlines, Inc.: " A. A reservation for a space on a given flight is valid when a passenger has obtained a ticket...(1) At least 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time of the applicable flight within the ( US and Canada )...(2) At least 60 minutes before scheduled departure time of the applicable flight ( from the US and Canada to a point outside such area )...During a NW work stoppage from a strike by one or more of NW's labor unions, NW will cancel flights that it is unable to operate as a result of the work stoppage...B. NW may overbook...If NW cannot accommodate a passenger on the aircraft for which he/she holds a confirmed reservation, NW's obligation to the passenger is exclusively governed by Rule 245. The passenger shall not be entitled to compensatory or punitive damages in the event of an oversale. C. Once a passenger purchases a ticket indicating confirmed space for a specific flight and date...the reservation is confirmed, even if there is no record in NW's electronic reservation system..."

Southwest Airlines Co.: " Reservations must be claimed at the gate departure desk at least ten (10) minutes before the scheduled departure time. Failure to comply with the check-in requirements will result in the cancellation of passenger's reservations....Southwest Airlines has the right to refuse transportation to persons under the influence of drugs or alcohol or any condition...which may cause danger or discomfort to the passenger, any other passenger, or the crew, and to unaccompanied passengers who are unable to sit in the seat with the seatback in its full upright position with the seat belt fastened, or who are unable to care for themselves during flight, and/or unable to care for their lavatory needs during flight..."

Trans World Airlines, Inc.: " Reconfirmation of TWA reservations is not required. TWA will refuse to transport or will remove at any point any passenger for the following reasons:...H. Flight coupons will be honored only in the order in which they are issued, and only if all unused flight coupons and passenger coupons are presented together. TWA specifically prohibits the practices known as " Back-to-Back Ticketing " the combination of two or more round-trip excursion fares end-to-end for the purpose of circumventing minimum-stay requirements; " Throwaway Ticketing ", the usage of round-trip excursion fares for one-way travel; " Hidden City/Point-Beyond Ticketing " the purchase of a fare from a point before the passenger's actual origin ro to a point beyond the passenger's actual destination. I. When a ticket is invalidated as the result of the passenger's non-compliance with any term or condition of sale, TWA has the right in its sole discretion to (a) cancel any remaining portion of the passenger's itinerary, (b) confiscate unused flight coupons, © refuse to board the passenger or check the passenger's baggage, or (d) assess the passenger for the reasonable remaining value of the ticket, which shall be no less than the difference between the fare eventually paid and the lowest fare applicable to the passenger's actual itinerary "

[85]. Norman v. Trans World Airlines, Inc., 2000 WL 1480367 ( S.D.N.Y. 2000 ).

[86]. Padua v. Eastern Air Lines, Inc., 21 CCH Aviation Cases 17,716 ( P.R. Sup. 1988 ).

[87]. Macintosh v. Interface Group, 1999 Mass. Super. LEXIS 3 ( Mass. Super. 1999 ).

[88]. Cenci v. Mall Airways, Inc., 21 CCH Aviation Cases 17,812 ( N.Y. Civ. 1988 ).

[89]. Guerrero v. American Airlines, Inc., 1998 WL 196199 ( S.D.N.Y. 1998 ).

[90]. Carro v. Parente World Travel Center, 23 CCH Aviation Cases 18,345 ( N.D. Ohio 1991 ).

[91]. Robinson v. American Airlines, New York Law Journal, June 19, 1995, p. 33, col. 5 ( N.Y. Civ. 1995 ).

[92]. Sethi v. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, 21 CCH Aviation Cases 18,400 ( Ga. App. 1989 ).

[93]. Madia v. Austin Travel Agency, 19 CCH Aviation Cases 17,277 ( N.D. Ill. 1984 ).

[94]. Alstrom Machinery, Inc. v. Associated Airfreight, Inc., 675 N.Y.S. 2d 161 ( N.Y. App. Div. 1998 ).

[95]. Coughlin v. Trans World Airlines, Inc., 21 CCH Aviation Cases 17,406 ( 9th Cir. 1988 ).

[96]. Freedman v. Northwest Airlines Inc., 25 CCH Aviation Cases 17,299 ( N.Y. Civ. 1996 ).

[97]. Klakis v. Nationwide Leisure Corp., 73 A.D. 2d 521, 422 N.Y.S. 2d 407 ( 1979 ).

[98]. Larken v. Tourlite International Inc., 23 CCH Aviation Cases 17,262 ( N.Y. Civ. 1991 ).

[99]. Carro v. Parente World Travel Center, 23 CCH Aviation Cases 18,345 ( N.D. Ohio 1991 ).

[100]. Neal v. Republic Airlines, 19 Aviation Cases 17,499 ( N.D. Ill. 1985 )].

[101]. Harris v. Waikane Corp., 484 F. Supp. 372 ( D. Hawaii 1980 ).

[102]. Agosto v. Leisure World Travel, inc., 36 Ohio App. 2d 213, 304 N.E. 2d 910 ( 1973 ).

[103]. The Majestic, 166 U.S. 375, 17 S. Ct. 597, 41 L. Ed. 1039 ( 1887 ).

[104]. Klakis v. Nationwide Leisure Corp., New York Law Journal, November 30, 1978, p. 6, col. 2 ( N.Y. Sup. 1978 ), rev'd 73 A.D. 2d 521, 422 N.Y.S. 2d 407 ( 1979 ).

[105]. DeVera v. Japan Airlines, 24 CCH Aviation Cases 18,317  ( S.D.N.Y. 1994 ).

[106]. Jamil v. Kuwait Corp., 772 F. Supp. 482 ( D.C.C. ).

[107]. Leake v. American Airlines, Inc., 2000 Conn. Super. LEXIS 2667 ( Conn. Super. 2000 ).

[108]. Bernstein v. Cunard Line, Ltd., 19 CCH Aviation Cases 17,485 ( S.D.N.Y. 1985 ).

[109]. Feuer v. Value Vacations, 18 CCH Aviation Cases 17,593 ( N.Y. Sup. 1983 ).

See also: Second Circuit: Arkin v. Trans International Airlines, 568 F. Supp. 11 ( E.D.N.Y. 1982 ).

110]. Arrow Air, Inc. v. Dole, 784 F. 2d 1118 ( D.C. Cir. 1986 ) ( 8,000 travelers stranded; air carrier must return stranded passengers notwithstanding lack of payment ).

[111]. Irving Trust Company v. Nationwide Leisure Corp., 562 F. Supp. 960 ( S.D.N.Y. 1982 ).

See also:New York: Feuer v. Value Vacations, Inc., 18 CCH Aviation Cases 17,593 ( N.Y. Sup. 1983 ).

[112]. Accomando v. Trans National Travel, 23 CCH Aviation Cases 18,140 ( Mass. Sup. 1991 ).

[113]. Neilan v. Value Vacations, Inc., 116 F.R.D. 431 ( S.D.N.Y. 1987 ).

[114]. Irving Trust Company v. Nationwide Leisure Corp,., 562 F. Supp. 960 ( S.D.N.Y. 1982 ).

[115]. 14 C.F.R. Part 250.

[116]. 14 C.F.R. Part 250.5.

[117]. West v. Northwest Airlines, Inc., 23 CCH Aviation Cases 17,352 ( 9th Cir. 1991 ).

[118]. Semrod v. Compania Mexicana De Aviacion, 22 CCH Aviation Cases 17,747 ( D.N.J. 1990 ).

[119]. Lopez v. Eastern Airlines, Inc., 677 F. Supp. 181 ( S.D.N.Y. 1988 ).

[120]. Schaeffer v. Cavallero, 1998 WL 856085 ( S.D.N.Y. 1998 ).

[121]. Zuliana de Aviacion v. Herrera, 763 So. 2d 499 ( Fla. App. 2000 ).

[122]. Norman v. Trans World Airlines, Inc., 2000 WL 1480367 ( S.D.N.Y. 2000 ).

123]. Singh v. Tarom Romanian Air Transport, 88 F. Supp. 2d 62 ( E.D.N.Y. 2000 ).

[124]. Donkor v. British Airways, Corp., 62 F. Supp. 2d 963 ( E.D.N.Y. 1999 ).

125]. Macintosh v. Interface Group, 1999 Mass. Super. LEXIS 3> ( Mass. Super. 1999 ).

[126]. USA v. Grossman, 131 F. 3d 1449 ( 11th Cir. 1997 ).

[127]. Huggar v. Northwest Airlines, Inc., 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1026 ( N.D. Ill. 1999 ).

[128]. McMurray v. Capital International Airways, Inc., 102 Misc. 2d 720, 424 N.Y.S. 2d 88 ( 1980 ).

[129]. Reservation Desk v. ALIA, 21 CCH Aviation Cases 17,529 ( N.D. Tex. 1988 ).

[130]. Smith v. Piedmont Aviation, Inc., 412 F. Supp. 641 ( N.D. Tex. 1976 ), mod'd 567 F. 2d 290 ( 5th Cir. 1978 ).

[131]. Semrod v. Compania Mexicana De Aviacion, 22 CCH Aviation Cases 17,747 ( D.N.J. 1990 ).

[132]. Vick v. National Airlines, Inc. 16 CCH Aviation Cases 18,404 ( La. App. 1982 ).

[133]. Das v. Royal Jordanian Airlines, 766 F. Supp. 169 ( S.D.N.Y. 1991 ).

134. Barkanic v. General Administration of Civil Aviation, 923 F. 2d 957 ( 2d Cir. 1991 ).

[135].Glavey v. Aer Lingus, 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10498 ( S.D.N.Y. 1999 ).

[136].Macintosh v. Interface Group, 1999 Mass. Super. LEXIS 3 ( Mass. Super. 1999 ).

[137]. Warsaw Convention, Article 19.

[138]. Malik v. Gulf Air, 24 CCH Aviation Cases 17,736 ( S.D.N.Y. 1993 ).

[139]. Tasar v. Pakistan International Airlines, 17 CCH Aviation Cases 18,618 ( S.D. Tex. 1982 ).
See also: Seventh Circuit: Wolgel v. Mexicana Airlines, 20 CCH Aviation Cases 18,097 (7th Cir. 1987 ).

[140]. Jamil v. Kuwait Airways Corp., 773 F. Supp. 482 ( D.C.D.C. 1991 ).

[141]. Daniel v. Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited, 59 F. Supp. 2d 986 ( N.D. Cal. 1998 ).

[142]. Harplani v. Air India, Inc., 634 F. Supp. 797, 798-799 ( N.D. Ill. 1986 ).

[143]. Pakistan Arts v. Pakistan International Airlines Corp., 232 A.D. 2d 29, 660 N.Y.S. 2d 741 ( 1997 ).

[144]. Saiyed v. Transmediterranean Airways, 509 F. Supp. 1167 ( W.D. Mich. 1981 ).

[145]. Kupferman v. Pakistan International Airlines, 108 Misc. 2d 485, 438 N.Y.S. 2d 189 ( 1981 ).

[146]. Warsaw Convention, Article 20(1).

[147]. Duff v. Trans World Airlines, Inc., 21 CCH Aviation Cases 17,795 ( Ill. App. 1988 ).

See also:New York: Cenci v. Mall Airways, Inc., 21 CCH Aviation Cases 17,812 ( N.Y. Sup. 1988 ); McMurray v. Capital International Airways, Inc., 102 Misc. 2d 720, 424 N.Y.S. 2d 88 ( N.Y. Civ. 1980 )( flight canceled; all necessary measures not taken ).

[148]. Peralta v. Continental Airlines, Inc., 1999 WL 193393 ( N.D. Cal. 1999 ).

[149]. Obuzor v. Sabena Belgian World Airlines, 1999 WL 223162 ( S.D.N.Y. 1999 ).

[150]. Tasar v. Pakistan International Airlines, 17 CCH Aviation Cases 18,618 ( S.D. Tex. 1982 ).

[151]. Bank of Nova Scotia v. Pan American World Airways, Inc., 16 CCH Aviation Cases 17,378 ( S.D.N.Y. 1981 ).

[152]. Cohen v. Varig Airlines, Inc., 62 A.D. 2d 324, 405 N.Y.S. 2d 44 ( 1978 ).

[153]. Kupferman v. Pakistan International Airlines, 198 Misc. 2d 485, 438 N.Y.S. 2d 189 ( 1981 ).

[154]. Shah v. Pan American World Services, Inc., 148 F. 3d 84 ( 2d Cir. 1998 ).

[155]. In re Air Disaster at Lockerbie, 24 CCH Aviation Cases 18,252 ( 2d Cir. 1994 ).

[156]. See Dickerson, Class Actions: The Law of 50 States, Law Journal Press, New York, 1981-2001 ( updated annually ). Web Page http://members.aol.com/class50/index.html.

[157]. Neilan v. Value Vacations, 605 F. Supp. 1227 ( S.D.N.Y.  1985 ).

[158]. Irving Trust Company v. Nationwide Leisure Corp., 95 F.R.D. 51 ( S.D.N.Y. 1982 ).

[159]. Liechtung v. Tower Air, Inc., 269 A.D. 2d 363, 702 N.Y.S. 2d 111 ( 2000 ).

[160]. Koczara v. Wayne County, Index No. 99-900422, Wayne Cty. Cir. Ct., Michigan (class certification granted).

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