A woman from West Orange, NJ, which is next door to my HQ, is suing United Airlines for $5 million for the lack of Wi-Fi and DirecTV access on her Puerto Rico to Newark flight.
Plaintiff Cary M. David filed this United in-flight Wi-Fi class action lawsuit claiming she paid for a DirecTV service during a four-hour flight from Puerto Rico to New Jersey, but was only able to use said service for about 10 minutes. According to her complaint, David alleges United deceives its passengers into purchasing in-flight Wi-Fi and DirecTV services during international flights by neglecting to properly disclose the limitations of these in-flight services.
David alleges that in order for passengers to use DirecTV services during a United flight, they must pay $4.99 for flights that last less than two hours and $7.99 for flights that last longer than that period of time. The United Airline class action lawsuit further claims the Wi-Fi fees range from $4.95 to $49, depending on a consumer’s device and how they choose to use the internet during the flight.
My first question is the logical one, how did her lawyers come up with that number? I’m willing to argue that $7.99 is all that she should get back.
There are many questions and talking points to be brought up from the lawsuit.
West Orange is her home. I’m guessing she took United down to Puerto Rico unless she flew there from another city like Miami or Orlando. Presuming she flew round trip from Newark, did she know going down that there would be no access?
What could she possibly have needed from Wi-Fi or DirectTV that warrants this lawsuit? Personally, I like to disconnect from Wi-Fi when I fly anywhere. Not like I see something on my Facebook feed that prompts me to say, “Turn this plane around! My friend is eating an amazing sandwich” As for TV, 3 hours could be spent reading a book, listening to music, watching your own movies on a tablet or getting some sleep. On Virgin flights, you tend to flip through the limited stations fairly quickly out of boredom.
Finally, for United, they should probably disable the DirecTV if it’s only going to be available for 10 minutes and make a simple announcement.
My prediction for this is that it will get thrown out. Cary David will have to find another airline that can magically deliver DirecTV over water.