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

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.

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.

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

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

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or www.mynewyorkcitylawyer.com.

Asker

Posted

Thanks for the comments.

Posted

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.

If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. My response is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice nor creates an attorney client relationship which requires all the details and a personal conference.

Asker

Posted

Thanks for your comments.

Posted

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.

(1) I may be guessing. Do not act or rely upon this info; (2) We have not established an attorney-client relationship; and (3) If you insist I tell you something upon which you can actually rely: don't eat yellow snow.

Asker

Posted

Thanks for the comments. The problem is the fine print is not given anywhere. I have been dealing with both Priceline and Virgin Atlantic for over 7-8 weeks, and the responses vary from evasion, lack of clarity to outright lies. I worry that the small claims court will only be able to order a full refund, but not account for increase in expense for the new tickets. The last minute tickets were twice the original price, and the hassle of staying in a different city airport was another expense. Will the small claims court be able to order relief for all added expenses as well?