Woman Whose DirecTV Faltered During Flight Sues for $5M

United Airlines didn't tell Cary David $8 service doesn't work over water: lawsuit
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2015 11:33 AM CDT
Woman Whose DirecTV Faltered During Flight Sues for $5M
In this July 17, 2013, file photo, a United Airlines plane lands at Los Angeles International Airport in Whittier City Calif.   (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)

On Feb. 21, Cary David paid $7.99, settled back into her seat on a four-hour United Airlines flight from Puerto Rico to Newark, NJ, and got ready to watch some DirecTV programming to pass the time. Except that DirecTV and WiFi services don't work outside the continental US or when the plane is flying above water—a fact the airline neglected to tell her, David alleges in a $5 million federal class-action lawsuit she filed against United, the Record reports. "This information [that the services do not work] is not disclosed to those who purchase DirecTV or WiFi on-board. It is not until after the purchase that the consumer learns he or she will not receive some or all of the service that has been paid for," David's complaint states, per the Asbury Park Press. But United has a completely different take on things, issuing a statement that says her suit doesn't fly.

"On our DirecTV-equipped planes, we clearly inform our passengers in writing on the screen before they confirm their purchase that 'Live DIRECTV programming is not available while the aircraft is outside of the continental United States' and that 'Wi-Fi service is available over the continental US,'" the statement reads, per the Road Warrior Voices website. In the meantime, why—as Andrew Bender writing for Forbes queries—is David "creating a federal case" out of her encounter rather than simply asking for her eight bucks back? Because she thinks other people may have been scammed out of their money, too, her lawyer says, prompting her to file the complaint class-action style, per the New York Post. "Defendants have earned millions of dollars, or more, from providing or purporting to … provide in-flight DirecTV and WiFi service," attorney Jennifer Sarnelli writes in the complaint. (This guy filed a class-action lawsuit because he's upset about who makes Blue Moon beer.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.