FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - Involuntary Denied Boarding on Baby's First Flight
Old Sep 29, 16, 4:07 pm
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 42

Had the trial in small claims court. United basically conceded that my wife was IDB. The witness, a claim manager who was not involved at the airport, testified that while they had a record showing that a seat was available and offered to us, that it was against United's policy to ask a family to split up so they did not defend on that issue. The judge agreed that the definition of destination in the COC would have put my round trip destination as Memphis, but found that the fare from Mem-IAH should be applied to to multiplier as a valid stopover fare.

The kicker was that for the first time since all this started, the United witness took the position that this was only ONE IDB despite the fact that we were ticketed for, and denied boarding, on two flights. I offered into evidence the email that I recieved from the United "DOT Specialist" who admitted that it had been two separate IDBs. The witness said the DOT specialist email was just meant as a settlement offer and did not represent United's position on the issue. She said we were placed on stand by, despite the fact that both the telephone agent who issued the tickets and the DOT specialist confirmed that we had a confirmed ticket for the second flight. I explained this and introduced the boarding passes and emails, but because I didn't subpoena those people to testify, the judge took the witness's testimony over the emails. So I recieved a judgment for 400% of the fare from Mem to IAH for both myself and my wife.

After the hearing, I let the United attorney know that I intended to appeal to the trial court. I also told him that I found it puzzling that the DOT specialist made it seem pretty clear that United reported this as two IDBs to the DOT, but the in court witness took the opposite position under oath. I asked him to send me the report that UA sent the DOT to confirm that the witness was telling the truth. I also offered to just settle for double the amount the DOT specialist offered in the first place. We just agreed to settle for a tad lower than that.

All in all, it was definitely worth my time to pursue because I ended up with almost double United's final prelitigation offer and now I know a whole lot more about airline regs and COC terms that I never would have known otherwise.

So thanks for all the support and advice. It was all very helpful.

**I just read through the comments since before the trial. Sorry to keep everyone in suspense the last few days! I post when I have free time. Haven't had a lot since Monday.

Last edited by jljones000; Sep 29, 16 at 4:25 pm
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