Passenger Suing American for $5 million for Lost Bag

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A Washington woman is suing American Airlines for $5 million over a lost suitcase.

The class action lawsuit, filed on behalf of Danielle Covarrubias of Pierce County, Wash., was believed to be the first since American Airlines started to charge baggage fees in June 2008.

The woman says she was upset about the lost bag, but even more angry when the airline refused to refund her $25 baggage fee, ABC News reports.

"American Airlines is just another example of how companies have forgotten about customer service," Covarrubias said in a statement, released through her lawyers. "When American charges a fee for a baggage service it should deliver your bag, unharmed, or give you a refund."

The lawsuit says baggage fees represent a "clear and unambiguous agreement with passengers to handle bags with care, and deliver them to their destination in a timely fashion."

The lawsuit stems from a flight Covarrubias, 35, took from Seattle to Grand Rapids, Mich., last May. She says she paid her $25 to check the bag and never saw her bag again.

"This case ... is about an entire industry that has lost touch with its customers," Casey Ingels, one of Covarrubias' lawyers, said in a statement.

The woman says she had more than $800 in possessions in the bag and ended up spending $300 on new clothing and toiletries, according to the court papers.

An American Airlines spokesman tells ABC the carrier is reviewing the lawsuit and would not comment on that. But he says the airline does allow customers to include a request for a baggage fee refund in their lost baggage claim, if they file one.

It was unclear whether Covarrubias filed such paperwork.

Photo, boeingdreamscape, flickr
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