When you sign up for a loyalty program, you expect to receive a certain amount of perks for the premium of being a member. But when companies don’t honor this, customers will be disappointed and want to take action.
This past October, American Airlines learned this the hard way by having to pay at least $7.5 million or more to passengers for unfairly charging them baggage fees for check-in luggage.
Keep reading to find out how you can recover your settlement if you were forced to pay the airline’s extra baggage fees!
What Was The Case About?
Regular passengers can expect to pay between $30 and $200 for checked baggage. But American Airlines offers extra perks for those who sign up for their more exclusive programs. For example, an AAdvantage member can have up to three free checked-in bags depending on which tier they belong to.
But due to a problem with the airline’s airport software system, thousands of passengers with AA-branded cards and AAdvantage Gold loyalty status programs luggage were forced to pay before boarding between February 2017 and April 2020.
In light of the situation, a small group of affected passengers filed a class action lawsuit against the airline giant last February.
According to the official complaint, “the contract provides that AA will transport a certain number of checked bags for free for certain passengers and the terms are included in the standard terms and conditions, the ticket, and, where applicable, the Point of Purchase terms, and any credit card term offer accepted by those passengers.”
In other words, American Airlines broke the contract’s terms with passengers by charging them extra baggage fees.
Who Is Eligible To Receive Settlement Money?
The American Airlines settlement will be eligible to all affected passengers who:
- Traveled on AA and were charged a check-in fee between February 24, 2017, and April 9, 2020
- Received an email that said you had one or more free bags for a specific trip
- Had an American Barclay’s or Citi credit card with a free check-in bag perk while traveling domestically
If you meet these requirements, you can apply for a full refund before the deadline!
How Much Can Affected Passengers Receive?
AA has committed to a minimum payout of $7.5 million. Still, the amount you receive heavily depends on how many bags you checked in.
Regardless of how many suitcases you have, the claim guarantees to give each eligible passenger a full refund for every single extra luggage fee you had to pay.
Additionally, if the total refunds come out for less than the minimum payout, any extra funds will be divided evenly among the settlement class members. Depending on how many people apply, you might even receive more than your initial baggage fee!
How To Sign Up For The Settlement
Signing up for the AA settlement is relatively easy and can be done in one of two ways.
If you’re applying online, you must visit the official settlement website and fill out the form. All you need to do is fill out basic information like your name, address, and any supporting documentation of your claim. Once it’s verified and processed, you can get paid via Paypal or a mailed check.
Another option is to send the form through the mail. All you need to do is download and fill out this form, send it to the address provided at the bottom, and wait until your claim is approved.
You have until February 23, 2023, to submit everything, but we advise sending it in as soon as possible.
The Bottom Line
Having to pay extra fees after being promised otherwise is infuriating. The airline still breached a vital part of its promise to customers who signed up for its program.
But thanks to this settlement, anyone affected by AA’s unfair baggage fees can finally get compensated. If you’re eligible, visit the official settlement website to start your claim today!