american airlines agreed to pay at least $7.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by passengers who claim they were mistakenly charged baggage fees after the airline allegedly promised they would be able to check bags free of charge.
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A group of passengers from a handful of states filed a federal lawsuit against the carrier, Clearly et al. v. American Airlines, Inc., in February. 2021 accusing American of the erroneous charges that extend from February 2. 2017 to April 2020.
Some plaintiffs said they were offered free baggage checks through an email confirmation, but still had to pay a fee. Other claimants were U.S.-branded Citibank and Barclay’s credit cardholders who say they were entitled to free baggage checks as part of their card benefits, but were charged anyway.
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As part of the settlement filed this week, all parties agreed not to make any public statements about the deal, but the document makes it clear the airline denies any wrongdoing.
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“American has asserted a variety of affirmative defenses, denies all allegations of wrongdoing, liability, and damages that were or could have been asserted in the Litigation, and specifically denies that it committed any wrongdoing,” it reads.
The filing also states that “American agrees to the Settlement and Settlement Agreement solely to avoid the expense, inconvenience, and inherent risk of litigation, as well as continued disruption to its business operations.”
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According to Forbes, the minimum payment of $7.5 million is more than six times the $1.2 million American Airlines collected in checked baggage fees last year, which is the most of any american airline.
Lucas Manfredi of FOX Business contributed to this report.
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