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Published on Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A bag the airlines should not have lost

A Washington woman who lost her bag to American Airlines got mad. When the airline refused to refund her $25 fee, she got madder. So she sued for $5 million.

The class action lawsuit, filed on behalf of Danielle Covarrubias of Pierce County, Wash., is the first since American Airlines started to charge a fee for handling and transporting luggage in June 2008, according to industry experts.

The airline, ironically, was the first major carrier to impose such fees.

"It just goes to show you how enraged people are by the lack of common-sense regulation in the airline industry," said George Hobica, an aviation expert and creator of "It doesn't make any sense at all that somebody should charge for a service and then screw up and not give you your money back."

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

Covarrubias, 35, waited for the next flight to arrive but her bag -- with more than $800 of her possessions -- wasn't on it, court papers said. She spent more than $300 on new clothing and toiletries and then waited another 24 hours for news from the airline.

"In her last conversation with American Airlines … she was told nothing could be done," the lawsuit said. The airline refused her demand for a refund of the baggage fee.

An American Airlines spokesman said the carrier was reviewing the lawsuit and offered no immediate comment to ABC News.

By David Wilkening

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  • lost baggage

    go, Danielle.

    By julie netzley, Thursday, July 29, 2010

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