When most of us lose our luggage, we get mad, maybe throw a temper tantrum and ask the airline in question for help. Not Danielle Covarrubias. First she paid $25 to check her bag on American Airlines. Then they lost it and refused to refund her $25. In turn, she is suing them for $5 million, according to ABC News.
Covarrubias filed a class action lawsuit in her native Pierce County, Washington against the airline when they lost her luggage on a Seattle-Grand Rapids, Mich. flight. It's the first lawsuit since American started charging for bags in 2008 (it was also the first major carrier to impose checked baggage fees).
"It just goes to show you how enraged people are by the lack of common-sense regulation in the airline industry," George Hobica, an aviation expert and creator of airfarewatchdog.com, told ABC News. "It doesn't make any sense at all that somebody should charge for a service and then screw up and not give you your money back."
Covarrubias waited for the next flight to arrive but her bag--with more than $800 of her possessions--wasn't on it, according to court papers. She spent more than $300 on new clothing and toiletries and then waited another 24 hours for news from the airline. "In her last conversation with American Airlines ... she was told nothing could be done," the lawsuit said. The airline refused her demand for a refund of the baggage fee.
An American Airlines spokesman said the carrier was reviewing the lawsuit and offered no immediate comment.
"We already do allow customers to include a checked bag charge refund request in their baggage claim if they file one for other damages and the claim is accepted for full or partial payment," the spokesman, Tim Smith, said. It's unclear whether Covarrubias filed such a claim. She's not alone, though, in her frustrations: American Airlines damages, loses or delays more than 2,400 pieces of luggage every day.