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You could end up receiving some air-fare discounts -- or even a
few extra ( bucks -- as a result of the recent class-action suit
brought against nine U.S. airlines. The suit alleges that American,
Continental, Delta, Midway, Northwest, Pan Am, TWA, United and USAir
conspired to fix prices on flights out of their 23 airport hubs for
more than three years -- from Jan. 1, 1988 to Aug. 7, 1991.
The suit won't come to trial until next summer at the earliest.
But it's not too soon to get your documentation together if you paid
to fly on any of the flights under challenge. That way, you'll be
ready to prove that you are owed a part of any court-ordered award or
settlement. (Notification about how to collect will likely appear in
USA Today and Wall Street Journal ads.)
First, get out your travel records for the past three years. Then,
call the airlines to check whether the cities you flew in and out of
were hubs. As proof of purchase, you will need receipts. If you
booked through a travel agency, you can ask it to provide
documentation. Make sure that your receipts indicate the airline,
flight date, flight number, ticket number, destination and the amount
you paid.
Some passengers may get refunds early. Northwest, for instance, is
awaiting court approval of a settlement that would provide $11.5
million worth of discount certificates to travelers who flew from its
Detroit, Minneapolis and Memphis hubs. Approval could come this