A flight that could be affected by the domestic airlines antitrust litigation
August 25, 2022

Understanding the Domestic Airlines Antitrust Litigation

Several years ago, a class-action lawsuit was simultaneously initiated in several US court districts, accusing several domestic airlines of conspiring to keep ticket prices high. The case is still ongoing and pending in the United States District Court. If you bought a domestic airline ticket from one of the companies involved during the time frame, your rights could be affected.

Case Overview

A class-action lawsuit was filed against the four largest airline passenger carriers in the United States: American, Southwest, Delta, and United. It is alleged that they, along with US Airways and Continental Airlines, colluded to limit capacity on domestic flights with the goal of keeping air prices artificially high. As a result, ticket purchasers may have paid inflated prices.

Frequently Asked Questions 

To help you understand the domestic airline antitrust litigation, we have answered a few of the most frequently asked questions about the case.

Who is Eligible?

This case involves a class of approximately 100 million members. The settlement class includes any persons who purchased air passenger transportation flights or services for flights within the United States and its five territories (American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands), as well as the District of Columbia, between:

  • July 1, 2011, and December 20, 2017, for Southwest Airlines
  • July 1, 2011, and June 14, 2018, for American Airlines

These settlements do not include governmental entities, defendants (parent, subsidiary, or affiliate), defendants’ officers/directors/employees/family members, or judges/justices assigned to hear this action.

How Much Will it Pay?

At this time, it is unknown how much money each eligible settlement class member will receive. All funds that remain after payment of the fees, costs, and expenses of the case will be distributed at the conclusion of the litigation.

The size of this settlement is currently $60 million, with two non-settling defendants remaining. Despite denying any wrongdoing, Southwest Airlines has agreed to pay $15 million, and American Airlines has agreed to $45 million to settle this nationwide litigation. Both airlines settled to avoid the considerable cost, burden, and distraction of this lawsuit. Delta and United Airlines have not settled, and the lawsuit is continuing against them. This may result in additional money as a result of a trial or future settlement against the defendants. 

If you purchased an airline ticket from Southwest or American airlines between either of the set time frames, you are eligible for a refund on a percentage basis. Please note that there is an objector to the settlements who is appealing the Court’s final approval offer. This must be resolved for any funds to be distributed. A conclusion to the lawsuits against Delta and United airlines must also be reached.

What Are the Deadlines?

The deadline to file a claim has not yet been set, although the deadline to object to the settlements has passed as of January 4, 2019.

Claim Filing Assistance With J.E. Lawrence & Co.

To learn if you may have a claim in the domestic airlines antitrust litigation, contact J.E. Lawrence & Co. A member of our team will discuss your claim and how to authorize us to manage it on your behalf.

To learn more about the domestic airlines antitrust litigation and our other current class-action cases, contact us today.