Lawsuit against Southwest claims misleading boarding priority policies

By Shaun Zinck | Apr 13, 2015


Southwest Airlines is being sued for allegedly misleading a passenger into purchasing early check-in for its flights.

Teri Lowry filed the lawsuit on April 1 against Southwest claiming the airline deceived her into purchasing an “Early-Bird” priority boarding cost for a flight she took in March 2014 from Los Angeles to Indianapolis, Indiana.

According to the lawsuit, Lowry bought a “Wanna Get Away” ticket offered by Southwest, and than added on the “Early-Bird Check-in” feature for $25 roundtrip. Lowry said she purchased the feature based on previously traveling Southwest and receiving a “B” boarding group assignment.

Lowry said she contacted others who received a higher boarding position than she did for her trip to Indianapolis, and none of them purchased the “Early Bird Check-In.”

The lawsuit said boarding is chosen by the order in which a person checks in online. Boarding it broken into three groups with each group containing about 60 board positions. According to the lawsuit Southwest Airlines' website states customers can obtain an A boarding position by purchasing an “Early Bird Check-in.”

Lowry claims Southwest's website says customers who purchased “Anytime” fairs receive priority over other fare types including “Early Bird Check-ins.” The lawsuit alleges that contradicts other areas of the website that say “Anytime” or “Wanna Get Away” fares don't have priority over other fares.

Lowry is seeking class status, and more than $5 million plus court costs. She is represented by Kristopher P. Badame of Badame & Associates, APC.

United States District Court Central District of California case number 8:15-cv-00500.

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