$40M Class Action Lawsuit Against El Al for Illegal Cancellation Fees

El Al planes lined up at Ben Gurion International Airport. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

The Israel Consumer Council filed a class-action lawsuit against El Al last week, alleging the airline illegally charged cancellation fees from passengers.

The amount on the claim is $40 million, and the Council estimates that tens of thousands of passengers were affected by El Al’s practices, according to a report in TheMarker.

The lawsuit claims that El Al routinely charged passengers to rebook cancelled flights in violation of Israeli aviation laws. The laws do not allow charges unless explicity agreed upon by the customer.

The claimants allege that El Al failed to fulfill its duty to its passengers when it issued the airline tickets in flagrant violation of the law, and that the company deliberately misled customers, profiting at their expense.

Josh Goldschmidt, CEO of the Consumer Council, said that the group was “standing up for the rights of the many customers affected by El Al,” and would work towards reaching an appropriate settlement.

The lawsuit applies to passengers who purchased tickets before July 29, 2013 – when the clause was cancelled.

In a statement, El Al said that the company was “studying the material” and they would respond in due course.