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American Airlines Sued over Lost Bag Fee

Nobody likes having to pay an extra fee for their checked bag when flying. And no one is happy when an airline loses their luggage. So it is no wonder that a Danielle Covarrubias, a Seattle woman, is quite upset after American Airlines lost her luggage and then refused to refund her checked bag fee. Covarrubias was traveling in May from Seattle to Grand Rapids, Michigan when her baggage was lost. She is suing American Airlines after it allegedly denied her a $25 refund of her baggage fees. Her attorneys are seeking class action status.

"...companies have forgotten about customer service," Covarrubias said in a statement. "When American charges a fee for a baggage service it should deliver your bag, unharmed, or give you a refund."

Tom Parsons, who runs BestFares.com was interviewed by WHEC in Rochester, New York. He points out that in American’s conditions of carriage, its contract with customers, it states that they are liable for up to $3,300 in luggage, nothing more. “It doesn't say, by the way, if we lose your luggage, we'll also throw in the $20 or the $50 you paid us to lose that bag."

However whether it is in the contract or not, it has some screaming bloody murder. Generally, if you pay for a service, you are entitled to receive the service or you get a refund. It simply doesn't seem right that you still have to pay for checked baggage if it never arrives. Further confusing the issue, American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith said that the carrier already allows claims for refund of the fee:

We already do allow customers to include a checked bag charge refund request in their baggage claim if they file one for other damages and the claim is accepted for full or partial payment, said Smith.

If that is in fact true, it could have an impact on Danielle Covarrubias case. It is unknown as to whether she filed a claim for a refund of her baggage fees. Covarrubias suit against American Airlines is for $5 million.

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