Can I sue the airline or online travel agent? Who should I sue?

Asked about 1 year ago - Brooklyn, NY

I bought 3 tickets from India to the US on Priceline. The ticket was from Chennai (India) -> Delhi (India) -> London -> JFK. Chennai to Delhi flight was on Air India, and Delhi -> London -> JFK was on Virgin Atlantic. Priceline sold the tickets with a connecting time of 95 min in Delhi. AI arrived 15 minutes late, and when passengers got to VA counter it was 55 min to departure, and VA denied boarding because it's under 1 hour. VA didn't offer alternate flights and cancelled the whole itinerary. AI said delays under 30 min are not eligible for compensation. AI and VA are not code sharing. When I asked for refund, VA refunded only the return. I paid $1220/ticket, and got back $410. If VA isn't code sharing, should it not refund the entire journey? It cost me $2500/pp extra for the journey.

Additional information

All the members on the itinerary were over 60, and two members were wheelchair passengers. VA said that had the journey started on VA, it would have refunded the entire ticket less the fines when it denied boarding. Since we already started the journey on AI, it would not refund because it considers that the onward journey is used.

This is bizarre, as the delay was no fault of the passengers. Airport was in charge of the wheelchair passengers, and they got them as fast as possible from one gate to another. 95 minutes was just not enough connecting time. Should Priceline be sued for selling tickets where passengers cannot reasonably be expected to complete their journey?

VA also harassed the passengers and used a filibuster by verbally offering one way ticket to London knowing they did not have a visa to the UK.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Marco Caviglia

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your question has a myriad of unknowns. These include the disclaimers on the reams of documents one is subject to whe airline tickets are purchased, what federal and/or international laws affect situations such as yours (seek information from the FAA), what inter-airline agreements might exist, and so forth. You are talking about $3,500 losses from your statement. As irritating and expensive as your ordeal was, it is small change for a lawsuit. You should seek information and help from the FAA first, and see what they recommend, and go from there. If it takes you to an attorney, so be it.

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  2. Peter J Weinman


    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyer agrees


    Answered . what does the fine print say on the respective agreements? Unfortunately, the cost to litigate will easily outweigh the amount for which you're selling recompense. Small claims court night be a viable option. Good luck.

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  3. Jayson Lutzky


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . When in doubt sue everyone and get them into one courtroom. Good luck.

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