How To Sue An Airline? It isn’t uncommon to have canceled flights or lost luggage. Even a minor inconvenience can cause significant problems when you’re traveling.
Unfortunately, not much comes in the way of compensation, for this happens typically only through pursuing legal action against airlines, which often doesn’t make victims whole again, even after covering costs associated with their negligence.
Baggage claims stemming from overseas flights encounter an additional stumbling block.
If you’ve had a bad experience with an airline, it’s essential to know your rights. But, first, the Office of Aviation Consumer Protection should be contacted: US law and Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations exempt airlines from lawsuits by passengers in most circumstances but not if they have misbehaved.
The Federal Aviation Administration is the primary agency responsible for aviation safety in the United States.
You may file a Small Claims Lawsuit against them or complain about their conduct directly through the DOT process available on our website.
This is a division of the Department of Transportation dedicated to consumer complaints.
Document Your Efforts to Resolve Your Issues with the Airline
Try To Address The Problem at the Airport
If you have a problem at the airport, it is best to go through customer service.
They are more likely than other people with a solution to your issue and can help resolve any problems that arise quickly.
Examine The Airline’s Contract of Carriage
If you’re a passenger on an airline, it’s essential that your rights are clear and understood.
The DOT provides details about these in their manual – access them today.
Put Your Complaint To The Airline In Writing
If you have a problem with customer service at the airport, don’t hesitate to take action.
All airlines offer complaint forms online, and they’ll make sure your voice is heard.
You will receive a written response within 60 days of filing your complaint. After that, you can expect to receive it by mail or phone, depending on where you live in North America.
The DOT requires airlines to acknowledge all complaints submitted within 30 days and provide passengers who filed them with an answer no later than one month from the date they first heard about these issues- which means those people should listen back sooner rather than later.
Visit the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Website
The Department of Transportation website has information about your flying rights and includes a form you can use to file an air travel complaint with them.
Submit your Complaint Online
You can get the DOT’s attention with just one click.
The free online dispute form requires you to provide your name, contact information, and a brief factual description of what led up until now.
How To Sue An Airline?
If you cannot resolve your issues directly with the airline, now you might consider how to sue the airline. The process can be time-consuming, but holding the airline responsible for its actions is possible.
Here are some tips on how to sue an airline:
- Gather evidence of the mistreatment. This can include witness statements, photographic evidence, and other documentation supporting your claim.
- Determine which court has jurisdiction over the case. Generally, this will be the state in which the airline is headquartered.
- File a consumer complaint with the court. This written complaint will outline your claims against the airline and request relief from the court.
- Serve the airline with the complaint. The airline will then be able to respond to the allegations in the complaint.
- Try to settle with the airline. If the parties cannot agree, the case will go to trial.
- Prove your case at trial. This will require presenting evidence and witnesses to support your claims.
- Obtain a judgment from the court. If successful, the court will order the airline to pay damages to you.
- Collect on the judgment. This may require working with a collection agency or taking other legal action.
Suing an airline directly can be complex, but the legal process is possible to obtain relief if you have been mistreated by an airline. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of success in your case.
Suing in Small Claims Court
Consult An Attorney
The small claims court is simple and straightforward enough to handle the matter independently.
However, it’s worth getting an attorney’s opinion about your case before filing in this system – as procedures may differ from those of larger courts, leading to confusion down the road.
State bar associations are an excellent resource for finding licensed attorneys who have experience handling cases similar to yours.
They often offer referral programs and other resources to help you find an attorney quickly.
Fill Out The Appropriate Forms
You can use your local small claims courts to resolve disputes or issues in your county.
Filing these lawsuits is straightforward and will only take about 30 minutes.
File The Forms with the Court Clerk
Take at least two copies of all your paperwork to the small claims court clerk when you want a hearing on your case.
Serve The Airlines with the Complaint
The next step is to send one set of copies via certified mail with a return receipt requested.
This will ensure that you receive a legal document if something goes wrong, such as if your airline agent neglects their duty or becomes unresponsive.
Appear In Court For The Hearing
Arrive at the courthouse at least half an hour before your hearing to provide adequate time to clear security and locate the appropriate courtroom.
Dress like you are going to an interview.