No one likes paying bag fees.
But one Expedia customer is taking it a step further — suing Expedia after paying $650 round-trip for his family of four’s luggage after the online travel agency claimed the first checked bag would be free with the airfare purchase.
The lawsuit, which is seeking class action status, was filed in King County Superior Court last week. The suit also alleges that Expedia was deceptive by offering a discount for making a purchase from its mobile application, but then ultimately not delivering the discount.
The plaintiff is Ohio resident Jeffrey Weidenhamer, who is being represented by Badgley Mullins Turner of Shoreline, Wash.
The suit alleges that Weidenhamer “was falsely promised by Expedia that he would receive a 5% discount on his airfare purchase, and was falsely promised airfare for which there would be ‘no fee’ for first checked baggage.”
An Expedia spokeswoman did not respond to an email seeking comment.
The plaintiff claims that Expedia misled him regarding a pop-up offer on its website when it wasn’t working properly. The message said it was having an issue with its website, but that in the meantime, the user could download the mobile app, where they would receive 5% off their purchase to say thank you for their patience.
Expedia was still using the message as recently as this weekend.
The lawsuit states that Weidenhamer did not receive that discount until he complained to the Ohio Attorney General. Following steps by the AG, the customer received a one-time courtesy refund of $79.66, reflecting the 5 percent discount.
The lawyers go on to state that Expedia receives additional value from someone who downloads the app because there’s an additional opportunity to up sell them on activities based on their destination. The implication is that it is in Expedia’s best interest to encourage customers to download their mobile app.
As for the baggage fees, the plaintiff claims that Expedia disclosed that there would be no fees for the first checked bag. Upon arrival at the airport, however, he incurred additional charges of $650 for the four tickets booked. The undisclosed fees increased the total airfare by about 41 percent to $2,243.20.
“Defendant’s Internet airfare statements and omissions were likely to mislead and did mislead Plaintiff and other reasonable customers, because they made a significant difference in their online airfare purchase decisions,” the lawsuit says.
The suit is seeking attorney fees and damages for anyone in the class, who are looking to be refunded on either count.
A similar lawsuit was filed against Expedia on July 11 by Emerson Poynter, a law firm in Houston, Texas.