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This morning I saw a link to a Flyertalk thread about a family of 3 who were involuntarily denied boarding on a flight from Memphis to Houston.  The whole thread is worth reading (though long), but tells the story from the original incident last year (October 2015) up to its conclusion last month (September 2016)


Reading through the story, here are the highlights

September 2015: Flyertalk user jljones000 and his wife and lap child are trying to fly from Memphis (MEM) to Houston (IAH).  They have confirmation emails with seat assignments, but when they show up at ticketing, they were not given seat assignments and eventually were told that they were not allowed to board (IDB).  They were put on another flight a few hours later but then IDB’d on THAT flight too!  After several hours waiting in the airport, United offers compensation of $370 which they do not accept

October 2015: Jljones000 posts his story on Flyertalk and as various community members go through the story, it appears that he should be entitled to anywhere from $1100 to $5200, depending on how his claim is interpreted.  Jljones000 files a complaint with United as well as with the DOT, and a few months later receives a compensation offer for $1100 from United

IANAL but…. Lots of advice in the thread starting with IANAL (I am not a Lawyer) but it turns out that Jljones000 IS a commercial litigation attorney, so he files suit in Shelby County Tennessee small claims court.

September 2016: The case is finally heard in small claims court and jljones000 wins but United takes the position that there was only ONE IDB.  He’s awarded a judgment for 400% of the fare from Memphis to Houston for both him and his wife.  In discussions with United’s attorneys, he says that he will appeal the judgment, and they end up settling for a little less than double the original amount of compensation offered (he doesn’t say, but probably in the $2000-$3000 range)

Quite the crazy situation and I am glad that they were able to get things worked out.  Helps to be a lawyer I suppose :-).  Reminds me of the saga I’ve had trying to get British Airways and Aer Lingus to refund my miles and points for a canceled business class flight from Boston to Dublin

You can find the entire Flyertalk thread here – have you ever been in a situation where you were voluntarily or involuntarily denied boarding?

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