CHICAGO (CBS) — Millions of Americans are receiving emails right now about a class action lawsuit for anyone who bought a domestic plane ticket during a six-plus year period.
At least 60 million dollars — up for grabs.
But CBS 2 wanted to know how much might passengers actually receive? The answer could be zero.
“I actually got one this morning,” said CBS 2 legal analyst Irv Miller. He is one of the millions of passengers to receive the email that directs you to this website withe the warning statement ”your rights could be affected.”
At the crux of the lawsuit allegations that four major airlines conspired to increase prices. Two of those airlines have settled: Southwest agreeing to pay $15 million. American, $45 million.
Both deny any wrongdoing.
“You just don’t fork up 60 million dollars for no reason,” Miller said.
The lawsuits against United and Delta continue. A Delta spokesperson describing the case as “not only ridiculous, it is offensive.”
“The law provides small plaintiffs that have been wronged to go against a big company,” said Miller.
But here’s where the math gets fuzzy. Sixty million dollars sounds like a lot of money. But attorneys fees could be as much as 30 percent, or $18 million. Mailing out checks could cost tens of millions, leaving little to nothing for passengers.
“The lawyers are going to get paid big bucks. The consumers, because there are so many consumers that may have been harmed, they’re not going to get very much at all,” added Miller.
“It doesn’t make sense to send you or me or your viewers to get a check for a dollar,” Miller said.
So the reality for the 84 to 153 million passengers potentially involved in the lawsuit: a specific clause from the frequently asked questions.
“it is possible that after deductions… the remaining amount will be distributed to charities.”
“You see you’re a member of class action. Think you’re gonna get a lot of money back. Then you read the fine print and the fine print says you may not get anything,” said Miller.
Attorneys could get millions of dollars. The flying public — zero.
If you’d like more information about joining the lawsuit, go to DomesticAirClass.com.
You can also learn about opting out and suing on your own.
The U.S. Justice Department investigated airline price fixing back in 2015 and to date, it has not found any official wrongdoing.