Suing Delta

Old Jun 29, 11, 9:51 am
  #1  
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Suing Delta

I'm filing suit against Delta this summer and would appreciate insight from anyone that may have experience.

In brief, I'm bringing action in small claims court against Delta for violating their terms of carriage in the refund of a ticket. The ticket was comprised of multiple credits from multiple non-refundable sources. During a ticket change Delta refunded to one of those sources, an awards program, denying me access to the credit. Small claims limits will not cover the full amount but 80% of it. The awards program has remitted none of the funds in any form to me months later.

Inquiries to the Executive Response unit yielded sympathetic responses, acknowledgement of their error and an offer to provide a $1000 voucher which only covers 25% of my loss. I declined the offer.

If you've sued Delta I'd like to hear about your experience. Did they show up for your court date? Do they simply hope the aggrieved party will just go away? Do they use it simply as a hurdle to contain risk?

I've never brought suit against anyone in my life. I cannot believe this company is making me do this in light of their acknowledgement of error.
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Old Jun 29, 11, 9:53 am
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I thought general consensus is to not talk about pending cases in public outlets.

be careful what you say here.
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Old Jun 29, 11, 9:56 am
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Originally Posted by gj83 View Post
I thought general consensus is to not talk about pending cases in public outlets.

be careful what you say here.
Thanks. I appreciate the advice. I'm really interested in others past experiences.
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Old Jun 29, 11, 9:58 am
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did you consider adding the awards company to the list of defenders? looks like they are the shady ones.

Delta made the error out, but the awards company is holding your stuff...
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Old Jun 29, 11, 10:00 am
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does your court have a searchable case data base?....
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Old Jun 29, 11, 10:01 am
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Originally Posted by goodandclassy View Post
shouldn't you be suing the awards program?
I think they are a separate and distinct issue. I still hope to appeal to their better nature by escalating the matter up the ladder.

Delta, in my read, violated their terms of carriage. While the awards program may have the money now, Delta was the proximate cause of my loss and bears the burden for their actions.
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Old Jun 29, 11, 10:04 am
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Originally Posted by clacko View Post
does your court have a searchable case data base?....
I don't know but I see what you're getting at. If they have a searchable database I can view their responses to prior suits. I'll find out. Thank you that's a great suggestion.
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Old Jun 29, 11, 10:23 am
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Most of these cases are going to be in small-claims court. Formal pleadings/responses aren't filed with the court -- the parties just show up prepared to make their cases.

This is one person who sued Delta & apparently won (caveat: He was an attorney, not your run-of the-mill pro se litigant):

http://dlsucks.blogspot.com/2009/03/...-boarding.html

There was a FlyerTalker (I believe in California) who successfully sued United 3 or 4 years ago.

Based on what I've read, there's a reasonable chance that the airline will default. If they do show up, it's quite possible that they'll be represented by a local attorney who is not the least bit familiar with the facts of the case nor the nuances of award tickets, etc. Sometimes they send a local manager to represent the airline.

Research the laws regarding the representation of corporations in your state. For example, in MN a small corporation can be represented by one of its owners, but a large corporation must be represented by an attorney. If they send someone who is not qualified to represent a corporation in your state, they could be held in default. (The downside of this in MN, don't know about other states, is that if they do send an attorney to represent them, the case can be moved to district court where the pro se litigant could be at a disadvantage vs. an attorney.)

However they respond, be prepared with your case. Know it inside & out, backwards & forwards, etc. Even if they default, you probably will have to explain it to the judge or referee.
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Old Jun 29, 11, 10:25 am
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I'm not particularly sure I follow what your gripe is. First you say it is NONREFUNDABLE, then you say DL did refund your award.

Seems like the claim should be against the award company. If DL issued a "refund" to them, there is nothing else they can do.

Perhaps I'm not reading your OP correctly.

In either case, I assume you do not reasonably expect to win?
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Old Jun 29, 11, 10:54 am
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OP, you say DL acknowledged the error. Do you have this in writing or on a recording of a phone call?
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Old Jun 29, 11, 10:59 am
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And we wonder why our justice system is overloaded?

I hope the case is better presented then the email, but I am not sure you have a "$" claim. I am not sure the courts recognize the value of "awards" that you didn't actually pay cash for!
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Old Jun 29, 11, 11:06 am
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The OP must be asking for an additional $3000 in the settlement, as he said that the $1000 he already received is only 25% of his costs. Although, it seems like it wasn't actually money out of his pocket, which may prove challenging to justify to the judge.
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Old Jun 29, 11, 11:08 am
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I would recomend a better business bureau complaint and/or AG complaint first.

Not sure how it would work with Delta, but I had a complaint with Northwest back in 2008. I filed a complaint with both the AG and the BBB and two weeks later I received an email from NW saying they would not refund the ticket but would give me a full credit to use within a year waiving the change fee (which is what I asked the phone rep for in the first place).
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Old Jun 29, 11, 11:43 am
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Originally Posted by CVG_Kid View Post
I'm filing suit against Delta this summer and would appreciate insight from anyone that may have experience.

In brief, I'm bringing action in small claims court against Delta for violating their terms of carriage in the refund of a ticket.
If you are filing a suit, using correct terminology would be helpful....the legal term is conditions of carriage.
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Old Jun 29, 11, 11:50 am
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Sucks about the ThankYou points refund you should have been more careful
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