Carol Ostrow Jan. 29, 2015, 1:41pm

A Peoria County, Illinois, man sued United Airlines on Jan. 21, alleging misrepresentation of its online fare prices, wrongful conduct and deceptive practices.

Scott Coulier alleged United's  “low fare guarantee” pricing advertised on its website is fraudulent. He traveled from Peoria International Airport to Orlando Airport on March 1 with two family members, having purchased three one-way tickets in a single transaction on Jan. 26, 2014. He alleged in the suit that he could have bought the tickets for a lower overall price if he had purchased them separately.

The suit alleged that United's offer encourages consumers not to search for lower priced airline tickets from competing ticket agents and third-party travel sites.

Coulier also alleged that the airline, headquartered in Chicago, advertised the lowest available fares via its online promotion, but that its system is allegedly programmed to only disclose and sell tickets at a higher fare first. Consequently, lower fare tickets that actually exist at the time of purchase are not disclosed to the consumer and are systematically bypassed at the point of purchase in favor of higher fares.

The plaintiff alleged that the airline caused financial loss, injury and damage to himself and the class, defined as all persons in the U.S. who purchased two or more airline tickets from in a single transaction anytime during the class period. 

Coulier seeks damages, attorney’s fees, court costs and expert witness fees.

Attorneys for the plaintiff are Jeff Edwards, Scott Medlock and Sean Flammer, of Edwards Law in Austin, Texas; Christopher P. Ridout and Caleb Marker, of Ridout, Lyon + Ottoson, LLP in Long Beach, California; and Hart L. Robinovitch, of Zimmerman Reed, PLLP in Scottsdale, Arizona.

U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas Houston Division case no. 4:15-cv-00190.

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