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United Accused of Age Discrimination for Offering a Discount to 18 – 22-Year-Olds

United Accused of Age Discrimination for Offering a Discount to 18 – 22-Year-Olds

Two United Airlines passengers have filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California alleging they were subjected to age discrimination by the airline because it offered discounted flight tickets to customers aged between 18 and 22 years old. The suit, which was filed in court on Tuesday, has drawn ire from United who has vowed to fight the accusation.

United began offering a young persons discount of up to 10 per cent on September 10, 2019, on tickets booked for travel between and within the United States, Canada and Mexico. The discount is good for travel through to the end of 2020 on all bookings that were made up to June 30.

But Fuiolevaga Riddick and David Pacheco who are both bringing the case against United say they were denied the discount because they had the “misfortune” of being over 22-years-old.

Fuiolevaga, 23, of Carson, California was just above United’s “arbitrary” age cut off when she attempted to book tickets on the United mobile app late last year. Pacheco, 67, of San Diego is an unemployed and disabled U.S. military veteran who claims he was exempted from “full and equal access” to United’s air services.

The two plaintiffs believe United has broken age discrimination laws under California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act.

“It is a shame that a few individuals take issue with an offer that is intended to make travel more accessible to more people,” a United Airlines spokesperson told the Chicago Tribune. “We believe this lawsuit is completely baseless and will defend ourselves vigorously,” the statement continued.

United explained that its sole intention of offering the discount was to make travel more accessible to customers who were either still in college or just starting their careers.

But the lawsuit claims what United did resulted in “invidious discrimination” and a “willful and malicious injury” on the claimants.

“It is especially troubling and more than a bit hypocritical that United’s divisive and exclusive discount, which excluded consumers who were too told, violated United’s own Mission Statement that hypes United’s supposed commitment to diversity and inclusion” the lawsuit continues.

Deriding United’s policies as “woke”, the lawsuit claims United discriminated against older customers in order to maximize profit.

Riddick and Pacheco are seeking damages of at least $5 million and an injunction against United that would bar the airline from engaging in age discrimination.

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