I was delighted to receive notice from the law firm of Anderson,
Daniel & Coxe that a federal judge has certified a class-action
lawsuit against the major airlines for antitrust behavior in
colluding to reduce and eliminate travel agency commissions. This
is a major breakthrough in the defense of travel agency rights in
the United States. It is not clear to me whether Sarah Hall was the
instigator or whether she volunteered to be the lead plaintiff for
the law firm, but it doesn’t matter. These people are our de facto
heroes and deserve our full attention and support from this point
Having our case heard in an impartial court of law is very
different from going to the DOT, which is purely political. If we
do not believe in the impartiality of our judges, our entire legal
system is worthless. After examining the facts of what the airlines
have done to us and the way it was done, I have no doubt that only
an airline executive can claim there was no collusion or violation
of antitrust law.
It is important to have this case heard in court. If we win, the
airlines will have to pay what they owe us in damages, plus 300% of
that in punitive damages. These are very high stakes, and all
travel agencies stand a good chance to benefit substantially.
Perhaps this may be the best way yet for the airlines to get rid of
travel agents: Lose the lawsuit so all the plaintiffs can afford to
Travel law expert Alexander Anolik has warned that he believes
the plaintiffs will run out of money and will be forced to settle.
This means that he believes travel agents will not support this
lawsuit, and the law firm will run out of money and will be forced
to accept a token from the airlines, which will be a small fraction
of what we could be awarded by the court. I am afraid he is right,
so I write now to tell all my fellow agents and agency owners,
small and large: Do not let that happen. This is the first real
chance we have had to strike back. This is the level playing field
we have been waiting for.
Contact the law firm. Read about antitrust laws, definitions and
penalties. This is your business and you have strong financial
reason to act now.