Sabre hates competition, alleges US Airways

US AirwaysCan’t they all just get along?

Not long after American Airlines sued Orbitz, alleging anticompetitive behavior, another airline is suing link in the travel supply chain. US Airways is going after Sabre on antitrust grounds, Reuters reports. The airline believes that Sabre “shuts out competition and drives up prices.”

For US Airways, this is a pretty big deal, as it books 35 percent of its revenue through Sabre. That’s an awful lot of dependence.

Airlines, online travel agencies and global distribution systems have been battling each other since November, when American Airlines announced that it was pulling out of Orbitz. Since then, the number of skirmishes has accumulated to all-out war.

Flight attendant trainee suing Qantas for failure to provide shrink

Qantas flight attendantSo, you’re new on the job. In fact, your title still has “trainee” in it. And then something goes wrong. That’s enough to make you go home, pop the cork on a bottle of wine and lament the fact that you work for a third world company. Now, imagine the whole thing happening 30,000 feet from the ground. Yeah, it sucks. You need more than a bottle of wine to take the edge off at that point. In fact, there’s probably a good chance you’d want some counseling.

Well, that’s exactly what Jessie Holgersson wanted, and she doesn’t feel she got it fast enough.

According to AM, an ABC morning show in Australia, Holgersson, a flight attendant on the Qantas 747 that had an engine fire, didn’t get counseling until a day after the incident. Her attorney “says that was too late and claims that Miss Holgersson was discriminated against for raising safety concerns about the airline’s lack of care.” Yeah … lawyer. Discrimination. Do the math: Holgerrson is suing.

Says Holgersson:

I was on my second training flight, we’d just flown from Sydney to Singapore, and everything went great on that flight and we had a nice day in Singapore and then we were heading back home and everything seemed normal and fine and about sort of six minutes after take-off we had an incident with our engine nut blew out.

She adds that “afterwards we were told that it was a fairly normal occurrence and these things can happen and, you know, not to worry about it too much.”

To make matters worse, according to AM, “The trainee was not given a permanent job.”

Qantas says through a spokeswoman that “Miss Holgersson was being assessed for possible employment by a UK cabin crew subsidiary at the time of the flight, with any position to be based out of London.” The company cites her behavior in training as the reason it didn’t offer her a position – and that she didn’t want to work out of the UK.

As to the claim that the flight attendants weren’t provided with counseling, Qantas says that it provided immediate and appropriate support.

[photo by Skazama via Flickr]

Delta sued over alleged false advertising on price guarantees

Delta is headed to court over its claims of providing the best fare every day. Normally, this sort of advertising bravado wouldn’t lead to litigation, but the person buying the ticket happened to be Robert Izard … the “Izard” in law firm Izard Nobel LLP.

When Izard’s wife, Susan, sought a ticket to Israel on Delta, she was told the best rate for business class was more than $3,000 – if she paid for coach and used miles to upgrade. Her husband spent $300 to transfer enough miles to her SkyMiles account, adding to the tally.

What happened next is a lesson in “loose lips.”

After transferring the miles, Susan pushed a little harder on the phone to find out if she truly got the best deal. According to CTWatchdog.com (on which Izard’s firm advertises), the rep “finally conceded” that buying a business class ticket without any mileage games would have cost only $2,692.69, with all taxes included.
The report continues:

“Defendant’s representation that the economy class ticket at a cost of over $3,000 was “Today’s Best Guaranteed Fare” was false and misleading,” says the suit.

While the suit does not seek class action status, Wayne Boulton, an attorney with the West Hartford firm who actually filed the suit, said it could be changed if the firm discovers that others were also not provided with the best price of the day by Delta.

So, what’s next? A lawsuit signaling a decline in customer service when the price of oil climbs?

[photo by cliff1066 via Flickr]

Man sues Canadian airline because they refused to look at his penis

When Marcel Cote was in his Air Transat seat back in February 2008, he felt some discomfort “in the area between his legs”. He went to the washroom and noticed he was bleeding from his genitals.

He then asked a female flight attendant to send one of her male colleagues, and asked him to examine his bleeding penis.

As can be expected, the flight attendant refused, and handed him some absorbent paper instead. Upon landing, Mr. Cote was transferred to a local hospital, where doctors determined he had a ruptured vein.

Apparently, not having your genitals examined by a flight attendant is enough to sue the airline. Never mind that the flight crew is not trained to perform medical inspections, Mr. Cote claims the incident turned his vacation into a nightmare, and demanded $8,000 (CAD) for the “anguish” he suffered.

Thankfully, the Canadian judge rejected the case, issuing the following statement:

“It was not incumbent upon a flight attendant to conduct the medical examination of a passenger, a measure reserved for the medical profession,”

The judge didn’t deny that Mr. Cote was in some kind of discomfort, but she also maintained that his discomfort did not appear to be a life threatening situation.

Woman sues Hyatt after dancing wedding guest breaks her arm

Weddings are a time of celebration. People like to have a few drinks, maybe hit the dance floor. But there always seems to be one guest who takes things too far – who drinks a little too much and gets a little too wild. At a wedding at a New Jersey Hyatt in 2008, that guest not only got a bit too drunk, he allegedly got so forceful on the dance floor that he broke another guest’s arm. And now Hyatt could be held responsible.

According to the New York Post, Christine Mancision was getting her groove on when James Graeber grabbed her, and flung her so violently across the dance floor that she fell down and hurt her arm. She went to the hospital, where she found out her wrist was broken and she needed surgery. She’s now suing the Hyatt for over-serving Graeber, who she claims was visibly intoxicated.

The suit is for $1 million and claims Hyatt violated New Jersey’s “dram shop” laws by serving someone who was obviously drunk. Mancision’s lawyer said the Hyatt “owes an obligation to its guests . . to not fuel the fire of intoxication by pouring alcohol down the throat of an intoxicated person.” Really, a Hyatt staff member poured alcohol down the throat of Graeber?

Getting manhandled by some drunk buffoon at a wedding is not fun (though probably not all that uncommon). But how can the court say that wouldn’t have happened had the Hyatt not given the guy another drink? And how can they prove he was “visibly intoxicated”? Everyone does the chicken dance at weddings. That proves nothings. Will the wedding video be called in as evidence?

If it’s true, what happened to Mancision was unfortunate. But it seems like her “assailant” should be the one who pays for her hospital bills, not the hotel.

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[via Vagabondish]