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Class Action Federal Lawsuit Aginst Delta RE: Best Fares Available

Old Sep 9, 14, 5:54 am
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Date Filed # Docket Text
08/07/2014 1 COMPLAINT with Jury Demand; against Delta Airlines, Inc. by Darla Opper. ( Filing Fee PAID $400 receipt number 0757-1939172) (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Exhibit C, # 4 Exhibit D, # 5 Exhibit E, # 6 Exhibit F, # 7 Exhibit G, # 8 Civil Cover Sheet, # 9 Summons)(Shah, James)
08/07/2014 NOTICE Regarding assignment of this matter to Chief Judge William C Griesbach ;Consent/refusal forms for Magistrate Judge Duffin to be filed within 21 days;the consent/refusal form is available on our web site ;pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7.1 a disclosure statement is to be filed upon the first filing of any paper and should be filed now if not already filed (jcl)
08/07/2014 2 DISCLOSURE Statement by Darla Opper. (Shah, James)
08/08/2014 Summons Issued as to Delta Airlines, Inc. (mec)
08/20/2014 3 Refusal to Jurisdiction by US Magistrate Judge by Darla Opper. (Shah, James)
08/25/2014 4 SUMMONS Returned Executed by Darla Opper. Delta Airlines Inc served on 8/14/2014, answer due 9/4/2014. (Shah, James)
08/29/2014 5 Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time by Delta Airlines Inc. (Smith, Renee)
08/29/2014 6 DISCLOSURE Statement by Delta Airlines Inc. (Smith, Renee)
09/02/2014 TEXT ONLY ORDER GRANTING 5 Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time filed by Delta Airlines Inc., signed by Chief Judge William C Griesbach on 09/02/2014. The deadline for filing its responsive pleading is extended 14 days, until September 18, 2014. (cc: all counsel)(Griesbach, William)
09/18/2014 7 MOTION to Dismiss by Delta Airlines Inc. (Balassa, Gabor)
09/18/2014 8 BRIEF in Support filed by Delta Airlines Inc re 7 MOTION to Dismiss . (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A - Best Fare Guarantee, # 2 Exhibit B - Best Fare Guarantee Claim Form, # 3 Exhibit C - Tabatabai v. West Coast Life Ins. Co, # 4 Exhibit D - Marine Travelift, Inc. v. Marine Lift Sys., Inc, # 5 Exhibit E - Tilstra v. Bou-Matic, LLC, # 6 Exhibit F - PNC Bank, N.A. v. Van Hoornaar, # 7 Exhibit G - NIIJII Entmt, LLC v. Troha) (Balassa, Gabor)
10/03/2014 9 Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time by Darla Opper. (Shah, James)

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Class Action Federal Lawsuit Aginst Delta RE: Best Fares Available

Old Sep 2, 14, 7:09 pm
  #46  
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Originally Posted by MSP_Monopoly
Quick question, is it against DL policy/terms/rules etc to book multi segment trip in order to force a lower price? Ex. MSP - ATL - ATL - FLL return FLL - ATL - ATL - MSP

Multi city prices out in L for each leg, pricing it out MSP - FLL - MSP (connections in there still) prices out with K fares and lots of S fares even some M fares!

Doing the multi city booking method would save me about $200 rt per ticket at least.

Is this ok to do or will DL catch me and cancel my tickets?
If you book the itinerary on dl.com as a multi-city, there's nothing wrong with it (sort of by definition).

Delta even honors clearly mistake fares.
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Old Sep 2, 14, 7:54 pm
  #47  
 
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Originally Posted by MSP_Monopoly
DL.com let me price it out just fine all the way to the purchase page, so why do you say that I wouldn't be able to do it on delta.com?
There was mention above about when you went to pay you got into a loop saying that the "fare is no longer available". As I said, I do not have first hand experience with this on DL. It happens to me regularly on AA, but then I can go and purchase the ticket on Orbitz (but AA and Orbitz is a different forum )

If you can buy, let us know!
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Old Sep 2, 14, 9:50 pm
  #48  
 
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Originally Posted by MojaveFlyer
There was mention above about when you went to pay you got into a loop saying that the "fare is no longer available". As I said, I do not have first hand experience with this on DL. It happens to me regularly on AA, but then I can go and purchase the ticket on Orbitz (but AA and Orbitz is a different forum )

If you can buy, let us know!
We decided to burn points on WN to use them up and be done with them.

Sorry Delta, your greed made you lose a $800+ sale this time around.
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Old Sep 3, 14, 10:11 am
  #49  
 
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Just priced out two one-way flights IND-YXE-IND and got $8 less than the RT.

Also, the flight departing from Canada is priced in Canadian dollars so I save the 2.5% foreign transaction fee for a total savings of almost $30.
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Old Sep 4, 14, 11:55 am
  #50  
 
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I have this exact sitation now:

A->B->C shows as one class fare; A->B ; B-> in two separate tix shows as lower class fares, over $100 difference in total cost.

Had a similar situation last time:

A->B->C was extremely expensive due to layover > 4 hrs in B. (No smaller layover available).

A->B ; B->C on 2 separate tix was far cheaper.

That said, I don't think this is necessarily deliberate; it's probably a deficiency in the search algorithm airlines use because orbitz returns the same pricing as delta in both the 1 tix and 2 tix scenarios.

One thing orbitz does do is provide connections using spoke airports as a hub. Never seen that happen on DL.com...
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Old Sep 4, 14, 12:09 pm
  #51  
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Once in TPAC IROPs I was given a creative connection through a small spoke airport, partly to remain in FC on the domestic segments, and when I did the bag recheck after customs and asked the agent to check my flights, she was amazed and told me that routing with a connection that way should not have been allowed. She said the concern was that there could be no agents airside if further IROPs happened and I had a problem. I'm not sure I understood the concern as my alternative at that point would have been an overnight connection at DTW, which would seem to be worse that the risk that I would need to call the DM line myself rather than find a DL agent if I got stuck at the spoke due to weather, which would have meant no hotel voucher anyway.
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Old Sep 4, 14, 12:34 pm
  #52  
 
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While I have many gripes about airline pricing, I am not sure I get the logic of the plaintiff here. Many of the lowest fare buckets require round trip itineraries to qualify for the fare. To use these lower fares to and from the connecting cities you would have to book two nested round trip journeys to make the entire itinerary work. Isn't that already forbidden under Delta's rules?

If all four individual segments could be purchased at low cost as a series of one ways (and the LCCs have caused this to be the case in many markets), then I think they would have something. But wouldn't you lose the service, if you wanted to call it that, that the airline provides at the connecting city? How could you check baggage? You would also lose protection in IRROP situations, etc.
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Old Sep 4, 14, 1:34 pm
  #53  
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Originally Posted by oh912flyer
I have this exact sitation now:

A->B->C shows as one class fare; A->B ; B-> in two separate tix shows as lower class fares, over $100 difference in total cost.

Had a similar situation last time:

A->B->C was extremely expensive due to layover > 4 hrs in B. (No smaller layover available).

A->B ; B->C on 2 separate tix was far cheaper.

That said, I don't think this is necessarily deliberate; it's probably a deficiency in the search algorithm airlines use because orbitz returns the same pricing as delta in both the 1 tix and 2 tix scenarios.

One thing orbitz does do is provide connections using spoke airports as a hub. Never seen that happen on DL.com...
Except that's not what this lawsuit is about.

In the ATW-SRQ example, they are not comparing a ATW-ATL-SRQ fare with a ATW-ATL and ATL-SRQ broken fare. They are comparing a ATW-ATL-SRQ L fare with an ATW-ATL-SRQ T fare. They are trying to reason that since there is T bucket availability on ATW-ATL and ATL-SRQ individually that DL "should" offer the $75 cheaper T fare for ATW-ATL-SRQ. The L fare is cheapest available from DL and every other booking agency because that's the lowest bucket that is open. The combined pricing for for ATW-ATL and ATL-SRQ as a broken fare would be much, much higher because the cheapest fare you can buy on ATW-ATL is a K fare. The fare rules won't let you buy a T fare even though there is bucket availability.
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Old Sep 4, 14, 5:05 pm
  #54  
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Originally Posted by LBJ
They are trying to reason that since there is T bucket availability on ATW-ATL and ATL-SRQ individually that DL "should" offer the $75 cheaper T fare for ATW-ATL-SRQ.
And his odds of prevailing are pretty high, especially if the judge takes a common-sense approach to looking at the segment pricing. You & I know how married segments work. That doesn't mean the judge has to buy into such trickery to extort more money from selected passengers.

The plaintiffs were asked to pay more to fly A-B-C when they could purchase tickets for A-B and B-C for less, all the while Delta promises "With our Best Fare Guarantee, you get the best Delta fares or your money back. A little bit of plain English and common sense in that courtroom could well work in the plaintiffs' favor.
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Old Sep 4, 14, 6:46 pm
  #55  
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Originally Posted by MikeMpls
And his odds of prevailing are pretty high, especially if the judge takes a common-sense approach to looking at the segment pricing. You & I know how married segments work. That doesn't mean the judge has to buy into such trickery to extort more money from selected passengers.

The plaintiffs were asked to pay more to fly A-B-C when they could purchase tickets for A-B and B-C for less, all the while Delta promises "With our Best Fare Guarantee, you get the best Delta fares or your money back.” A little bit of plain English and common sense in that courtroom could well work in the plaintiffs' favor.
You completely misread what I posted. They absolutely could NOT buy A-B and B-C for less. Not on DL, not on any other site. Think about it, ATW-ATL is captive market with only DL providing non-stop service. They cheapest one-way they will sell on this route is a $446 K fare. It doesn't matter if there is T bucket inventory because the fare rules won't allow you to purchase it on a one-way. They were only looking at bucket inventory on the ATW-ATL and ATL-RSW segments. Not the actual fare buckets that could be purchased and not the actual prices for those segments.
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Old Sep 4, 14, 7:01 pm
  #56  
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Originally Posted by ijgordon
Forgive me for not having read the full complaint, but it sounds like (from the article quoted above) they ARE saying you can get the cheaper T fare elsewhere (maybe not everywhere), but it's not valid for the best fare guarantee because the terms of that guarantee require the ticket DL offers to be in the same booking class as what you find elsewhere.

But if you *can't* actually purchase the fare, then its a different argument, and I agree that it's a much more difficult case.
They make it sound that way, but that's not what it's actually saying. You cannot buy a broken T fares on ATW-ATL and ATL-SRQ for the $195 listed on that chart. As I mentioned, the lowest one-way fare for ATW-ATL is a $446 K fare. It does not matter if there is T bucket inventory, the fare rules won't allow you to buy it. You can buy a one-way T fare on ATL-SRQ, but it's $149 all by itself without adding the ATW-ATL fare.

The $195 T fare they listed was actually for ATW-ATL-SRQ as a single fare. You could not buy that T fare (not on DL, not on any one else) because there was only inventory in the L bucket for ATW-ATL-SRQ at $270. This price is charged by DL and everyone else. They did not find lower pricing anywhere else. There were only saying that if DL "had" released T inventory for the ATW-ATL-SRQ route it would have been $195 for that trip.

The argument is that since there is T fare bucket inventory on the individual ATW-ATL and ATL-SRQ flights, they should sell the $195 T fare for ATW-ATL-SRQ. The issue is that they never note the fact that you can't actually buy T fares on both those individual flights due to fare rules, or that even if you could, it would likely be more expensive than the $270 L fare for ATW-ATL-SRQ. It's pretty absurd to complain about the $270 L fare for ATW-ATL-SRQ when the best you can do on the ATW-ATL segment by itself is a $446 K fare.

Last edited by xliioper; Sep 4, 14 at 7:30 pm
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Old Sep 4, 14, 10:17 pm
  #57  
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Originally Posted by LBJ
They make it sound that way, but that's not what it's actually saying. You cannot buy a broken T fares on ATW-ATL and ATL-SRQ for the $195 listed on that chart. As I mentioned, the lowest one-way fare for ATW-ATL is a $446 K fare. It does not matter if there is T bucket inventory, the fare rules won't allow you to buy it. You can buy a one-way T fare on ATL-SRQ, but it's $149 all by itself without adding the ATW-ATL fare.

The $195 T fare they listed was actually for ATW-ATL-SRQ as a single fare. You could not buy that T fare (not on DL, not on any one else) because there was only inventory in the L bucket for ATW-ATL-SRQ at $270. This price is charged by DL and everyone else. They did not find lower pricing anywhere else. There were only saying that if DL "had" released T inventory for the ATW-ATL-SRQ route it would have been $195 for that trip.

The argument is that since there is T fare bucket inventory on the individual ATW-ATL and ATL-SRQ flights, they should sell the $195 T fare for ATW-ATL-SRQ. The issue is that they never note the fact that you can't actually buy T fares on both those individual flights due to fare rules, or that even if you could, it would likely be more expensive than the $270 L fare for ATW-ATL-SRQ. It's pretty absurd to complain about the $270 L fare for ATW-ATL-SRQ when the best you can do on the ATW-ATL segment by itself is a $446 K fare.
Thanks for the summary, it becomes more clear. It reminds me of when UA pulled "Expert Mode" because people did not understand that fare bucket info was useless if there is no published fare. I wanted to bang my head on a wall every time someone posted "There's T space on the flight why is M the lowest fare i can book?" One has to meet all fares rules, routing rules and booking class availability

It sounds if the same misunderstanding fare construction is causing both the lawsuit and for DL to remove access to the data.
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Old Sep 5, 14, 6:35 pm
  #58  
 
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Originally Posted by MikeMpls
And his odds of prevailing are pretty high, especially if the judge takes a common-sense approach to looking at the segment pricing. You & I know how married segments work. That doesn't mean the judge has to buy into such trickery to extort more money from selected passengers. .
The Plaintiff has requested a jury trial, and rejected the opportunity to have this matter adjudicated before a magistrate judge.
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Old Sep 5, 14, 7:51 pm
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From the article:

Opper has sued Delta, in federal court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, claiming breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and breach of express warranty because Delta didn't provide the best fares available. She also sued for fraud, saying Delta purposely withheld the better fares and defrauded consumers.

The lawsuit didn't say whether Opper had sought compensation under the Best Fair Guarantee. Opper's Milwaukee attorney, James C. Shah, didn't return a call for comment.

No court action has been taken on granting the lawsuit class-action status, which would allow other parties to join.
The only ones going to make out are the lawyers. If she does not prevail, I hope DL recovers their legal fees. Make it like England. You lose - you pay.

The lawsuit didn't say whether Opper had sought compensation under the Best Fair Guarantee.
Well I would guess that would be a major factor.

Let a judge look at it first.

If I was on that jury - the case would lose or be a hung jury, based on the "facts" I read in the lawsuit. I would be the one hanging up the jury, unless they could prove that DL would not match the Best Fair Guarantee.

This case smells fishy - I guess that it was filed in Wisconsin.
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Old Sep 8, 14, 5:53 am
  #60  
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Hi All

An update:

Date Filed # Docket Text
08/07/2014 1 COMPLAINT with Jury Demand; against Delta Airlines, Inc. by Darla Opper. ( Filing Fee PAID $400 receipt number 0757-1939172) (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Exhibit C, # 4 Exhibit D, # 5 Exhibit E, # 6 Exhibit F, # 7 Exhibit G, # 8 Civil Cover Sheet, # 9 Summons)(Shah, James)
08/07/2014 NOTICE Regarding assignment of this matter to Chief Judge William C Griesbach ;Consent/refusal forms for Magistrate Judge Duffin to be filed within 21 days;the consent/refusal form is available on our web site ;pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7.1 a disclosure statement is to be filed upon the first filing of any paper and should be filed now if not already filed (jcl)
08/07/2014 2 DISCLOSURE Statement by Darla Opper. (Shah, James)
08/08/2014 Summons Issued as to Delta Airlines, Inc. (mec)
08/20/2014 3 Refusal to Jurisdiction by US Magistrate Judge by Darla Opper. (Shah, James)
08/25/2014 4 SUMMONS Returned Executed by Darla Opper. Delta Airlines Inc served on 8/14/2014, answer due 9/4/2014. (Shah, James)
08/29/2014 5 Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time by Delta Airlines Inc. (Smith, Renee)
08/29/2014 6 DISCLOSURE Statement by Delta Airlines Inc. (Smith, Renee)
09/02/2014 TEXT ONLY ORDER GRANTING 5 Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time filed by Delta Airlines Inc., signed by Chief Judge William C Griesbach on 09/02/2014. The deadline for filing its responsive pleading is extended 14 days, until September 18, 2014. (cc: all counsel)(Griesbach, William)
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