Boon Ins. Agency, Inc. v. American Airlines, Inc

In Boon Ins. Agency, Inc. v. American Airlines, Inc. (Tex.App. 2000) 17 S.W.3d 52, the plaintiff purchased nonrefundable "economy" tickets from the defendants. The tickets provided that if passengers did not fly as ticketed, they could apply their original fares toward new airline tickets for a specified period of time, but would be charged a $ 50 to $ 75 "reissue fee." If the tickets were not used or reissued, the fares would be forfeited. Plaintiff challenged the forfeiture and reissue fee provisions, asserting that they constituted illegal forfeitures and penalties and, thus, were unenforceable under state law. (Id. at p. 55.) The court held that these claims were preempted by the ADA. It explained: "It is undisputed that in each instance of an economy-class ticket purchase by Boon a binding contract, a contract of carriage, was created between Boon and the airline. Each contract included the authorization of a surcharge if the ticket was changed. Boon does not look to enforce the contract as written but instead seeks to modify the terms of the contract itself by relying on state law.