by Wes Lane August 6th, 2009
The highest court in Massachusetts ruled in favor of American Airlines Skycaps on Tuesday. They were awarded more than $325 000 in a lawsuit over tips that they had claimed to have lost after the Airline began charging a $2 curbside baggage fee.
The state supreme court found that the verdict from last year in a lower court was in fact correct and the instructions the judge have given the jury were entirely legal. The judge in the lower court had asked the higher court to review the case after he thought that he may have made an error instructing the jury on what constitutes a service charge under a law that protects wages and tips.
The money awarded was given to nine Logan International Airport Skycaps who claimed to have lost out substantially from the curbside baggage fee that many passengers thought was a tip, despite it actually being a charge for the airline.
American Airlines began the fee in 2005 for those passengers who wished to check their luggage at the curb instead of coming into the ticket counter. The charge did not include a tip for the skycaps. Many passengers assumed that it was a tip for skycaps, so few thought to tip the sky caps additionally.