A List of Class Action Lawsuits Against Travel Companies April 2020: 2019 Novel Coronavirus
Class action lawsuits are now being filed against travel companies — including airlines, resort properties, and cruise lines — for business practices which are related to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic; and you may seek to join one or more of them if you have been adversely affected.
A List of Class Action Lawsuits Against Travel Companies April 2020: 2019 Novel Coronavirus
The list of class action lawsuits at the time this article was written — which includes events as well as travel companies — are as follows in the order of airlines, cruise lines, resort properties, and events.
A class action lawsuit filed against Southwest Airlines claims that customers are owed a full refund for flights — as stated in the contract with the airline — which were cancelled due to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic.
Instead of a refund, the plaintiff claims that his flight to Cuba was cancelled by Southwest Airlines — but he was only offered the option of either rebooking the ticket or receiving travel credits which expire as of Wednesday, June 30, 2021.
United Airlines owes a few residents of Ohio a full refund after their trip to Paris was canceled by the airline due to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic, according to a class action lawsuit which claims that the Department of Transportation of the United States asked commercial airlines in April of 2020 to start providing refunds if the flights were canceled because of the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic — but the plaintiffs claim that United Airlines has only offered travel credits which are only good for one year.
The plaintiff of a class action lawsuit against United Airlines claims that travelers should receive an actual monetary refund instead of a mere ticket voucher for flights which were canceled due to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic, as his flight was canceled by the airline — and then when he requested a refund for the purchased tickets, the airline informed him in writing that his only option was to rebook his ticket within one year: “Travel vouchers provide little security in this public crisis, particularly where many individual Americans need money now to pay for basics like food and rent, not restrictive, temporary credits towards future travel.”
Volaris is a low fare airline which is based in Mexico; and one traveler claims that passengers were not refunded when flights were cancelled due to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic — and in addition to not receiving a refund, passengers were informed by Volaris that they would have to pay a fee to rebook the tickets of their cancelled flights.
The plaintiff claims that she was eventually offered a voucher credit to be used between Monday, April 6, 2020 and Sunday, July 5, 2020 — but the credit will expire if it is not used between those dates.
Costa Cruise — which is owned by Carnival — is alleged to have taken thousands of passengers on a voyage lasting 20 days despite having the knowledge that vacationers who just disembarked the vessel were showing symptoms of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.
Even worse is that the class action lawsuit claims that the company did not fully sanitize the ship — and then informed passengers who were boarding the cruise ship that they would not be refunded if they chose not to travel.
The plaintiff claims that the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak which occurred aboard the cruise ship ended up being so intense that some countries were not allowing the vessel to dock.
In addition, the class action lawsuit states that “Costa concealed information surrounding the coronavirus from passengers by blocking out news channels on stateroom TVs that had previously been available to passengers during the beginning of the cruise.”
A couple who was still aboard a cruise ship operated by Princess Cruise Lines has filed a lawsuit over claims that company failed to protect its passengers from the pandemic, alleging that they knew that one passenger from a previous trip developed symptoms of 2019 Novel Coronavirus and exposed fellow travelers and crew members — but the company continued to sail with approximately 3,000 passengers anyway.
The class action lawsuit states that 62 passengers who were on the previous voyage and mingled with all the other guests were not tested for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus until two weeks into the trip.
The plaintiffs claim that had they been aware of the risk of contracting 2019 Novel Coronavirus on the cruise ship, they would have never boarded it. They were traumatized with fear as they remained confined to their cabin aboard the vessel off the coast of San Francisco.
Another version of this class action lawsuit against Princess Cruise Lines claims that that thousands of passengers were exposed to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus despite the cruise company being well aware of the risk.
The plaintiffs note that the 2019 Novel Coronavirus started to become a public fear after ten cases were reportedly discovered on a Princess Cruise Lines ship in Japan, which led to an outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus aboard that ship that spread among greater than 700 passengers in a short period of time.
The plaintiffs point to a statement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention three days prior to the departure of their cruise which warned that “the rate of new reports of positives new on board [the Diamond Princess], especially among those without symptoms, highlights the high burden of infection on the ship and potential for ongoing risk.”
Despite having a clear warning of the risk of 2019 Novel Coronavirus, the Princess Cruise Line reportedly decided to sail with approximately 3,000 passengers and allegedly placed profits above the safety of the passengers.
An annual pass holder at Vail Resorts claims that he is owed a refund after the indefinite closure of its ski resorts on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.
The annual ski pass cost $499.00 and was valid until June of 2020 — but the plaintiff claims that by not giving skiers a refund, Vail Resorts is unjustly enriching itself.
“Defendant has not refunded any consumers for their lost mountain resort access,” states the class action lawsuit against Vail Resorts. “Rather, for annual pass-holders, Defendant has simply deferred all auto-renewal charges and spring deadlines (for those people that did not pre-pay for the entire season).”
According to a plaintiff of a class action lawsuit, Education First allegedly canceled student tour trips due to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic, but then denied refunds to those who paid in advance as a result of its “No Public Health Emergency Cash Refund Clause” which enables the company to refuse full refunds to customers and instead offers travel vouchers.
High school students and their parents paid approximately $15,000.00 for these tours which are now canceled — with a remote chance at best that they will be rescheduled. The lawsuit seeks a full refund for everyone who paid for a high school trip through Education First which was scheduled to depart after Friday, January 31, 2020.
Although the plaintiff was eventually offered a refund, she claims that it was $1,000.00 less than what she paid to Education First.
A popular singles club is allegedly still charging monthly fees to its members despite canceling in-person activities due to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic.
The customers of Events and Adventures California and Adventures Northwest pay $170.00 per month to attend group outings and meet other singles in their area, according to the plaintiff — but with all the planned events canceled, members say they are owed a refund.
Six Flags has been closed since Friday, March 13, 2020 due to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic — yet it reportedly continues to charge season pass holders, according to the plaintiff of the class action lawsuit, who does not object to the closures of the parks; but believes the company should stop charging its customers until locations reopen.
“Plaintiff would not have paid for the membership, or would not have paid for it on the same terms, had he known that he would not have access to Six Flags Magic Mountain for a period of months,” the class action lawsuit against Six Flags states.
Attendees of the Lightning in a Bottle festival are supposedly owed a refund after the event in California was canceled due to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic — but according to the plaintiff, the music festival has an established “no refunds” policy, but in light of the virus outbreak these terms are “unconscionable and illusory.”
The class action lawsuit against Lightning in a Bottle states that ticket holders are financial injured by the lack of refunds due to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic.
StubHub is unfairly withholding customer refunds for upcoming events which are now canceled due to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic.
Ticket holders claim that at first, StubHub sent out an e-mail message which informed customers that they could get either a refund or a voucher worth 120 percent of the ticket price — but only days later, the company reportedly changed its position and informed ticket holders that they would only be getting credits toward future purchases instead of refunds if an event was canceled.
After being forced to cancel Comic Con in Boston due to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic, the organizer set out to refund all the fans — but this refund effort was thwarted by ticket company GrowTix who allegedly stole the money that was meant to pay back fans.
The plaintiff claims that in addition to not providing refunds, GrowTix attempted to withdraw $2.3 million out of the bank account of the plaintiff, who speculates that GrowTix is experiencing “financial peril” and that is why they are refusing the refunds and holding onto money meant for consumers.
However, the lawsuit states that “the continued failure to process the refunds expeditiously has and will result in substantial damage to” the plaintiff, “amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars in chargeback fees and other related transactional fees avoidable if the Refund Agreement had been followed.”
Lyft and Uber drivers are still working despite showing symptoms of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, according to recently filed affidavits.
The drivers claim that since they are labeled as contractors, they do not get sick pay and are therefore forced to work because of the needed income.
“I do not want to pick up riders who were either coming from or going to risky locations, such as airports or college campuses, while the coronavirus is spreading across the state, but I am afraid to cancel rides because there are not very many ride requests right now and I need the money,” one of the drivers stated.
The drivers say that they don’t feel like they have a choice but to continue working and possibly spreading the coronavirus unless the rideshare companies start deeming contractors as employees. The affidavits are seeking emergency injunctions with the two companies.
That class action lawsuits have sprouted as a result of the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic before it has even shown any signs of ending anytime soon is of no surprise to me at all. In fact, I expected it as part of this whole pandemic process.
Some of them might be frivolous; and some of them are probably legitimate — but with many courts closed around the United States and other larger issues with which we have to deal, is now really the right time to be concerned about lawsuits? I thought that we were all in this together.
The class action lawsuits which are listed in this article only deal with companies in the travel industry and with events. Plenty more lawsuits which are related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus are listed here at the official Internet web site of Top Class Actions — and I am certain that more will be added in the coming months.
Photograph ©2010, ©2015, ©2016, ©2017, ©2018, and ©2019 by Brian Cohen.