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Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against AirTran Airways

By Bill Goldston
 
 

March 23, 2010 - Motley Rice LLC, one of the nation's largest plaintiff's litigation firms, announces Monday that it has filed a putative class action lawsuit in South Carolina against AirTran Airways, Inc. (Airtran), on behalf of putative class representative Sandie Mallard, alleging that AirTranís negligence and breach of contract resulted in significant financial loss when AirTran failed to operate flights on which it sold tickets. Former Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Transportation and Motley Rice Attorney Mary Schiavo believes hundreds affected.  

Filed in the Court of Common Pleas for the Ninth Judicial Circuit of South Carolina, the lawsuit Sandie Mallard v. AirTran Airways, Inc., claims that the low-cost air carrier is responsible for breach of contract, negligence and negligent misrepresentation. These allegations follow the voiding of thousands of confirmed and paid for tickets on domestic and international AirTran flights into and out of South Carolina, and the company's alleged subsequent failure to notify costumers of cancellations, rebook alternate flights and or immediately refund ticket prices.

Any U.S. resident who held paid-in-full reservations made between December 4, 2008, and March 22, 2010, for flights that were scheduled to depart to and/or from South Carolina may be eligible to participate in this lawsuit if his or her reservation was cancelled due to AirTran's termination of service. 

"As a teacher at Stratford High School, I have students who look to me each day for guidance," said Plaintiff Sandie Mallard, "and I owe it to them to stand up for myself no matter how intimidating the opponent. Airline passengers are tired of being taken advantage of by airlines that not only violate contracts but ignore passengers' rights to honest and lawful treatment. The airline needs to be held accountable to ticketed passengers who rightfully expected that AirTran would transport them after selling them tickets or at least immediately tell passengers AirTran had made its final departure from South Carolina. Instead AirTran waited weeks, kept my money, and refused to rebook or even help me, a ticketed passenger. Airlines assume they can get away with abusive behavior; after all they have in the past." 

AirTran, a Delaware corporation authorized to do business in South Carolina, operated as a certified common carrier, marketed, sold and provided commercial air transportation to and from CHS for both domestic and international flights beginning in May 2007. On July 2, 2009, Plaintiff Mallard booked four round-trip tickets to Cancun, Mexico, on an AirTran flight departing on December 19, 2009, and returning on January 2, 2010.

 

Despite confirming her reservation, AirTran terminated Mallard's flight and flights of other customers. The airline made no known effort to notify customers of its intention to cease service and seemingly concealed its intent to not honor the confirmed reservations. Since Mallard has come forward, numerous individuals have also reported similar financial loss due to travel experiences with AirTran.

Representing Mallard is Motley Rice attorney and former Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Transportation Mary Schiavo, who said, "Sandie Mallard needlessly spent thousands of her own dollars due to AirTran's actions. We will do everything we can to hold this organization accountable." 

The alleged failure of AirTran to promptly notify and rebook or immediately refund Mallard and other AirTran customers whose flights were similarly terminated has resulted in substantial financial losses on the part of the putative class, including the cost of last-minute replacement airfare and other losses, charges, surcharges and expenses incurred as a result of AirTran's failure to provide transportation. 

The lawsuit claims that the defendant should be held responsible for these losses because of negligent business practices and breach of contract. On behalf of Mallard and the other plaintiffs in the putative class, the lawsuit seeks compensatory damages due to AirTran's cancellation of service and reckless and deceptive practices.

 
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