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retaliation by American Airlines suing in small claims court?

retaliation by American Airlines suing in small claims court?

Old Jan 7, 19, 4:04 pm
  #1  
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retaliation by American Airlines suing in small claims court?

Hi, I did a search and only found this dated thread from 2015.
Help Suing AA in Small Claims Please [denied boarding - weight restricted]
I am lifetime plat ( 2 million miler) and have about 600K miles in acct.
What is the likelihood , if any, that AA would retaliate by "closing acct", seizing mileage balance, removing status.
I am not interest in DOT complain. obviously customer service was not effective or I would not be posting this thread

Also is there an option in the conditions of carriage for "binding consumer arbitration" , much like the cable companies and cell phone carriers.
They actually PAY for the cost of the arbitration, because there is a class action waiver.
The only recourse is small claims or AAA arbitration with cell phone and cable companies and I have been told that as soon a consumer files a "demand for arbitration , they are treated very very fairly by offending company as arbitration is very expensive. ( no I've never done it myself , nor sued in small claims court,--- too lazy and not litigious by nature ) but feel really aggrieved by more than one issue , the two most recent within the past 2 weeks.

Last edited by writetorich; Jan 7, 19 at 4:06 pm Reason: yypo in title
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Old Jan 7, 19, 4:32 pm
  #2  
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With out knowing the details of your potential complaint none of us can give real advice. I can understand your not wanting to disclose the particulars in a public forum;
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Old Jan 7, 19, 4:41 pm
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Originally Posted by writetorich View Post
...What is the likelihood , if any, that AA would retaliate by "closing acct", seizing mileage balance, removing status.
Zero chance, using the example you link to or anything even remotely like that.
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Old Jan 7, 19, 5:43 pm
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Smile Has anyone sued ? what was the outcome?

Originally Posted by newyorkgeorge View Post
With out knowing the details of your potential complaint none of us can give real advice. I can understand your not wanting to disclose the particulars in a public forum;

Actually New York George, I would gingerly and respectfully disagree with your assertion. ( hey you an an Evangelist )
My question was not for the community to assess the merits of my claim nor the likelihood of winning/prevailing.
Assuming, It's not completely frivolous and simply not pure harassment / shakedown of AA , I wanted to know any possible repercussions or retaliation, as I consider myself somewhat as a stakeholder with lifetime Plat and 600K banked miles.
I did not want this thread to become a discussion of the merits, reasonableness or flaming of my position position. ( you did NOT flame me) But I respectfully reply that the specific details are not really extremely relevant to my question.

It was about potential retaliation./ potential repercussions of commencing a small claims court action.
Not the merits , strength of my claims.
Has any one sued in small claims court and what was the result?
My desire is to get a reasonable remedy , and dismiss the action without anyone appearing.
I assume that AA uses flat rate or very cheap lawyers for to defend such an action.
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Old Jan 7, 19, 5:52 pm
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Originally Posted by writetorich View Post
Actually New York George, I would gingerly and respectfully disagree with your assertion. ( hey you an an Evangelist )
My question was not for the community to assess the merits of my claim nor the likelihood of winning/prevailing.
Assuming, It's not completely frivolous and simply not pure harassment / shakedown of AA , I wanted to know any possible repercussions or retaliation, as I consider myself somewhat as a stakeholder with lifetime Plat and 600K banked miles.
I did not want this thread to become a discussion of the merits, reasonableness or flaming of my position position. ( you did NOT flame me) But I respectfully reply that the specific details are not really extremely relevant to my question.

It was about potential retaliation./ potential repercussions of commencing a small claims court action.
Not the merits , strength of my claims.
Has any one sued in small claims court and what was the result?
My desire is to get a reasonable remedy , and dismiss the action without anyone appearing.
I assume that AA uses flat rate or very cheap lawyers for to defend such an action.
Keep in mind that it is possible that what you view as a small claims matter with a reasonable remedy always has the potential to be viewed by someone at an airline as a matter with significant policy implications that might be preempted by the Airline Deregulation Act or an international agreement.
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Old Jan 7, 19, 5:54 pm
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Originally Posted by writetorich View Post
Actually New York George, I would gingerly and respectfully disagree with your assertion. ( hey you an an Evangelist )
My question was not for the community to assess the merits of my claim nor the likelihood of winning/prevailing.
Assuming, It's not completely frivolous and simply not pure harassment / shakedown of AA , I wanted to know any possible repercussions or retaliation, as I consider myself somewhat as a stakeholder with lifetime Plat and 600K banked miles.
I did not want this thread to become a discussion of the merits, reasonableness or flaming of my position position. ( you did NOT flame me) But I respectfully reply that the specific details are not really extremely relevant to my question.

It was about potential retaliation./ potential repercussions of commencing a small claims court action.
Not the merits , strength of my claims.
Has any one sued in small claims court and what was the result?
My desire is to get a reasonable remedy , and dismiss the action without anyone appearing.
I assume that AA uses flat rate or very cheap lawyers for to defend such an action.
you've completely changed the question from what you originally asked-- note your thread title.
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Old Jan 7, 19, 6:01 pm
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OK , I'll get back to my original post - the below quote was in a reply

"I wanted to know any possible repercussions or retaliation, as I consider myself somewhat as a stakeholder with lifetime Plat and 600K banked miles.
I did not want this thread to become a discussion of the merits, reasonableness or flaming of my position position. ( you did NOT flame me) But I respectfully reply that the specific details are not really extremely relevant to my question.

It was about potential retaliation./ potential repercussions of commencing a small claims court action.
Not the merits , strength of my claims. "


Yes, Jonnyc, I did indeed ask about others experiences in a subsequent post
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Old Jan 7, 19, 6:04 pm
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The T&C of AA's or any other loyalty program basically boils down to saying that the company can do whatever it feels like on any given day.

Act accordingly.
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Old Jan 7, 19, 6:30 pm
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I have sued them in small claims court. They waited until the eleventh hour before filing an appearance and then the first thing they did was file a motion to move the matter out of small claims and to a trial level court. They retained very skilled, and expensive, local counsel (which I believe was actually paid for by AA’s insurance carrier even though the claim was for a commercial tort) and the case dragged on for a good long while, through discovery, interrogatories, depositions, etc. until we settled through a pre-trial judicial mediation process conducted by the trial judge (something required prior to jury selection in my state). I was in it for the long-haul with them and got a very satisfactory outcome, but it’s not something I would repeat if it could be avoided.

As for preemption and the ADA, it was something I was a little concerned about even though I could have argued my matter fell within the narrow carve-out in Northwest v. Ginsburg, but AA’s lawyers never went there - I think mostly to avoid having to move the matter to federal court.

I certainly got their attention when I filed my case. If your intention is to file litigation for someone at AA to take notice and listen to your issue, it may work, but be prepared that they may fight you every step of the way.

And, to answer your original question, even though we were on opposing sides of an issue, everyone at AA, including their counsel, were professional and courteous the entire time. It never got personal. There were never any threats made or implied to my EXP status or considerable AAdvantage mile balance, and I continue to fly AA predominantly today. I don’t think you have to worry about any 70’s style mob antics...

Last edited by ClassyFlyer; Jan 7, 19 at 6:36 pm
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Old Jan 7, 19, 6:58 pm
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I have filed arbitrations against both American Express and Uber. I personally think that for a moderately skilled person, arbitration is superior to litigation on an individual basis. In both cases I got what I thought was a reasonable settlement while paying only the initial filing fee. Neither claim actually advanced to arbitration, although in one case they started out trying to seriously low-ball me and I kept writing back saying "$x - best and final offer" and they eventually met it - $x was not my "moon-shot" offer, it was way below what I would have asked for in arbitration, but I needed to give them a reason to settle.

Here's one way of looking at it. There is something called the hearsay rule, which provides that people can only testify to facts they have firsthand knowledge of, but there are about 23 exceptions to the hearsay rule, one of which is the "business records exception" which states that records kept in the ordinary course of business can be introduced by someone who didn't personally create them. (So someone can introduce an invoice even if they weren't the salesperson.) A key part of my case was going to be arguing that Uber lies and therefore you can't trust them to bring a witness who is going to introduce records they claim were generated in the ordinary course of business. I would have been far more comfortable making that argument in the informal setting of arbitration, where I could support it by showing about a dozen incidents publicized in the media about Uber lying, cheating, and stealing as a matter of corporate policy, rather than having to brief the issue in a formal legal way.

Once you file for arbitration, you will be dealing wit the legal department, which means they will be generally competent but also ethical. They will zealously defend the company's interests, but they will not do anything unethical like retaliating against you in related areas. Lawyers get a bad reputation because the parameters of "zealous defense" (yes that's a technical term) are fairly broad, rather than because they will knowingly color outside the lines.

I think all of us at some time get into a dispute based on what we think the rules ought to be, even though we know the company is being fair within the rules as they exist. Be sure you have a valid claim based on the rules as they are, and that your claim is worth the time and effort you'll invest in it.
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Old Jan 7, 19, 7:02 pm
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Thanks, but there has to be an Arbitration clause or consumer option to arbitrate.
Amex has it because you are waiving class action rights.
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Old Jan 7, 19, 7:05 pm
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THANK YOU!

Originally Posted by ClassyFlyer View Post
I have sued them in small claims court. They waited until the eleventh hour before filing an appearance and then the first thing they did was file a motion to move the matter out of small claims and to a trial level court. They retained very skilled, and expensive, local counsel (which I believe was actually paid for by AAs insurance carrier even though the claim was for a commercial tort) and the case dragged on for a good long while, through discovery, interrogatories, depositions, etc. until we settled through a pre-trial judicial mediation process conducted by the trial judge (something required prior to jury selection in my state). I was in it for the long-haul with them and got a very satisfactory outcome, but its not something I would repeat if it could be avoided.

As for preemption and the ADA, it was something I was a little concerned about even though I could have argued my matter fell within the narrow carve-out in Northwest v. Ginsburg, but AAs lawyers never went there - I think mostly to avoid having to move the matter to federal court.

I certainly got their attention when I filed my case. If your intention is to file litigation for someone at AA to take notice and listen to your issue, it may work, but be prepared that they may fight you every step of the way.

And, to answer your original question, even though we were on opposing sides of an issue, everyone at AA, including their counsel, were professional and courteous the entire time. It never got personal. There were never any threats made or implied to my EXP status or considerable AAdvantage mile balance, and I continue to fly AA predominantly today. I dont think you have to worry about any 70s style mob antics...
Thanks for your spot on, bulls eye reply.
crazy story. In NYC ( I am in Manhattan , so new York county its capped at $5K
outside NYC $3K,
amazing they committed such resources to something without a lot of financial exposure.
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Old Jan 7, 19, 7:40 pm
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Originally Posted by writetorich View Post
Thanks for your spot on, bulls eye reply.
crazy story. In NYC ( I am in Manhattan , so new York county its capped at $5K
outside NYC $3K,
amazing they committed such resources to something without a lot of financial exposure.
It surprised me too, and similar small claims limits here. As soon as they moved the case out of small claims, the nature and amount of my damage claim in the revised complaint got significantly larger. I think they (mistakenly) thought I would just go away because of the potential of increasing legal costs.
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Old Jan 7, 19, 8:34 pm
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Others have described their experience in SCC (I particularly seem to remember at least one member filing in California), and at the risk of being accused of hearsay , my recollection was in those cases, it got AA's more serious attention and a relatively swift offer for settlement, before going to court. I suppose it really depends on the details, vis-a-vis ClassyFlyer's experience.

And I would agree that any form of retaliation, except in an example of extreme, and likely repeated, "abuse" (for lack of a better term) of the legal system, would not be in AA's best interest, so you should be fine.
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Old Jan 7, 19, 9:01 pm
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As some people may remember, I sued the W New York - Union Square and Starwood in 2015 (see Advice Needed, Hotel Breach of Contract - W New York - Union Square )

I didn't win, but I didn't get my account closed, and I even got a bottle of champagne and a birthday card sent to me as a joke (when it wasn't my birthday).

I did notice that when I was in NYC small claims court, an inordinately high number of people were suing many different airlines (including American), and that all the claims were answered "ready by the court" meaning that arbitration wasn't acceptable to the airlines. I did not hear any of the cases and don't know what they were about.
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