Skycaps Sue American Airlines Over Baggage Fee | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

** Airborne 07.28.14/Oshkosh Day 1! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 07.28.14/Oshkosh Day 1 **
** Airborne 07.25.14--CLICK HERE! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 07.25.14 **

Wed, Mar 19, 2008

Skycaps Sue American Airlines Over Baggage Fee

Says Tips Have Dropped Since Charge Was Enacted

A group of skycaps for American Airlines are taking their employer to court, saying the carrier's $2-per-bag fee for curbside check-in is taking money out of their pockets, in the interest of corporate greed.

The skycaps say the fee has led to a marked dropoff in the amount of their tips... which, like food service workers, make up most of their hourly pay.

But passengers aren't willing to shell out more money for tips, the skycaps say, on top of the $2 charge... or, they don't know the fee doesn't include a tip.

The group's lawsuit is ambitious... perhaps overly so. According to USA Today, the skycaps are calling for American to reimburse them for all tips lost by skycaps in the three years since the fee began. Trouble is, it's hard to determine just what that amount might be.

"We are looking for fairness for the hardworking employees who every day help passengers -- making travel a little bit easier," said attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan, who represents the skycaps who filed the lawsuit. "Some of these guys have worked for 20, 30 or 40 years as skycaps. This is their profession. These guys' lives were devastated by this."

The attorney declined to put a number on the amount of tips skycaps haven't received in three years, but adds "[w]e know that American Airlines has made millions of dollars off of this charge."

The group suing American includes nine skycaps at Boston Logan, and one who works at Lambert Field in St. Louis. The lawsuit claims American has violated the Massachusetts Tips Law, by failing to distribute the new fee throughout the skycap ranks.

American Airlines' attorneys wouldn't comment on the case during jury selection Monday. Opening statements were due to begin Tuesday.

It will be interesting to see how the trial proceeds. American wasn't alone in imposing baggage fees; most US airlines -- faced with slumping fortunes and, for many, bankruptcy proceedings -- now charge passengers for services that previously were free. United, Northwest, and US Airways also charge for skycap service.

American says it posted signs at several locations, alerting customers to the new fee. Skycaps added their own signs, noting the fee did NOT include a tip.

"Skycaps are still permitted, as before, to accept tips from passengers who choose to tip them," American said in an earlier court filing. "The evidence will show that customers understood the fee was not a tip for the skycaps from day one. The evidence will further show that the plaintiffs cannot demonstrate any decrease in tip income resulting directly from American's implementation of the fee-based program."

FMI: www.aa.com

Advertisement

More News

EAA AirVenture 2014 Welcomes The Boldest Human Space Mission Yet

Events To Highlight Industry Collaboration For Reaching The Planet Mars Leaders from the aerospace community held a press conference at EAA AirVenture on Monday to get the word out>[...]

Aspen Avionics, True Innovators, Present Oshkosh 2014 Special Event Coverage!

OSH2014 Sponsor: Aspen Avionics Aspen Avionics specializes in bringing the most advanced technology and capability into general aviation cockpits. Our products increase situational>[...]

Futuristic OSH2014 Sponsor: 'Beyond The Blue' - The Inside Story Of The XPRIZE

Meet Jim Campbell, TODAY/07.28, At EAA Wearhouse, Author's Corner, At 1500 And Get Your Signed Copy of Beyond The Blue!!! To Aviation Journalist and experienced Test Pilot, Jim Cam>[...]

Ready For Service... ConciAir Helps Present OSH2014!

ConciAir Is Here To Return Our Industry To Service! The name ConciAir is a play on the word "concierge", and our goal is to be able to accomplish any task placed before us in a tim>[...]

OSH2014 Sponsor: Eclipse Aerospace -- In Full Production!

The Eclipse 550: Economical. Efficient. Incredible. The Eclipse 550 not only has the lowest acquisition cost of any twin-engine jet on the planet, it also has the lowest operating >[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2014 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC