Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Student sues US Airways for $1 million over missing Xbox

You'd think a Yale student and high school "co-valedictorian" might know not to put anything in checked baggage you don't want lifted. Nonetheless, if you've ever encountered the adversarial customer non-service provided by the airlines, I hope the kid gets all he can. Flying sucks bad enough without them stealing your shit.

A Madeira man who is a student at Yale University claims in a lawsuit that US Airways stole a video game console from his luggage during a flight, and he wants $1 million in compensation.

Jesse Maiman, 21, filed the suit Monday in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court.

In it, he noted that he took a Dec. 17, 2008, flight from New Haven, Conn., to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Included in his luggage for that trip was his Xbox 360, which had a specialized hard drive and components he said cost more than $1,000.

When he picked up his luggage after landing, though, he noticed how light it was. He opened the bag, the suit noted, and he saw that everything was there except the video-game console and its accompanying components.

He immediately went to a US Airways representative at the airport to report what he called a theft.

What followed, his suit alleges, was weeks of "an unconscionable 'run-around' " that saw him write or speak to five airline employees who gave him what he considered to be nonresponsive answers.

"This was an annoyance that they really hoped not to deal with," Maiman said.

"That thing was my DVD player," Maiman, a junior film studies major, said. He was the 2006 Madeira High co-valedictorian.

The suit seeks to have the airline pay him $1,700 for the loss of the gaming system and for "non-economic distress" of at least $25,000, but "in the maximum amount allowable by law or, in the alternative, in the sum of $1,000,000."

A US Airways spokeswoman said the airline was unaware of the lawsuit.

"We haven't been apprised of any lawsuit yet, but regardless of the figure in the complaint, there are federal loss limits applicable to all airlines on their liability for lost luggage and belongings, which are currently set at $3,300 per bag," Valerie Wunder, a US Airways spokesperson, said in an e-mail. "Further, our publicly available baggage policies specifically exclude liability for electronics checked in luggage."


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