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Monthly Archives: September 2008

Consumer wins against airline for cancelled flight

Here is an ultimate consumer protection story that was reported from the CNN/Money website. It involves a consumer fighting back against the airline that arbitrarily canceled his flight.

When attorney Mitchell Berns heard that Delta Airlines was canceling his flight from Las Vegas to New York City and rescheduling him for a redeye connecting in Boston, he was suspicious. On that night he was flying home from a romantic getaway with his wife, who was pregnant with twins. Seeing that other airlines’ planes were still departing as scheduled, Berns asked Delta to refund his ticket so that he could book one of those flights. They told him (politely, as he recalls) that weather-related cancellations or delays are not the airline’s fault and do not come with a refund.

But as he later found out, the alleged weather delays were unjustified. Berns checked the National Weather Service report. It said snow that day was expected at five the next morning — hours after his flight was scheduled to land. He and several other passengers from his Delta flight easily booked a JetBlue flight departing at the same time. His tab: $938. He landed at J.F.K. on schedule.

Back at home, Berns did what any consumer with $15 can do: He filed a small-claims suit against Delta for $938. Delta did not show up to defend itself, so on June 12, 2008 he won a default judgment. Delta ended up paying the judgment, and Berns, who refused to let the big airline push him around, won a victory for consumers.

To read the full story from CNN/Money, click here.