With settlement beginnings in a consolidated airline ticket price-fixing class action lawsuit, eligible consumers could register online with the administrator for more information.
A website was recently established for consumers who purchased a domestic airline ticket on American, Delta, Southwest, United, Continental, or US Airways between July 1, 2011 and June 14, 2018. These consumers can register on the website to receive future updates.
The website was established in connection with an ongoing consolidated class action lawsuit.
The suit argues that American, Delta, Southwest, United, Continental, and US Airways conspired with each other to increase the prices of domestic airline tickets by limiting the capacity on domestic flights.
The price of flight tickets allegedly continued to rise despite the fact that other costs were lowering.
Together, these airlines make up more than 80 percent of the airlines industry. Their price-fixing conspiracy allegedly generated more than $21.7 billion in profit for just American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and Southwest. These profits were reportedly made at the expense of unknowing consumers.
The class action lawsuits were consolidated after plaintiffs requested a multidistrict litigation in July 2015. The plaintiffs argued that each of the separate class action lawsuits “share common questions of fact, and invariably will generate duplicative and overlapping discovery requests and disputes.”
By consolidating the suits into one multidistrict litigation, the plaintiffs argued that they would be able to “prevent duplicative discovery and motion practice, avoid the possibility of inconsistent rulings, and conserve the resources of the courts and the litigants.”
Settlements have already been reached in the consolidated ticket pricing class action lawsuit, with the potential for more settlements in the future.
In January 2018, Southwest agreed to pay $15 million to settle the ticket price-fixing claims against them. This settlement would benefit consumers who purchased flights from Southwest Airlines between July 1, 2011 and Dec. 20, 2017.
In June 2018, American Airlines reached a larger settlement of $45 million to resolve claims against them.
“The settlement amount, which is three times the size of the Southwest Settlement already approved by the court, provides substantial value to the settlement class in light of the attendant risks of continued litigation,” states the American Airlines settlement agreement.
“Not only will the $45 million cash payment provide a monetary benefit to settlement class members, the settlement also preserves their right to recover the entire amount of damages against the non-settling defendants.”
American Airlines and Southwest Airlines do not admit any wrongdoing by settling the claims against them. Instead, the settlements provide an avenue for all parties to resolve the claims without the risks and costs of continuing litigation for the foreseeable future.