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Giannopoulos v. Iberia Lineas Aereas De Espana, S.A.

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

February 12, 2014

THEODOROS GIANNOPOULOS, ALEXANDRA GIANNOPOULOS, JAMES VARSAMIS, LAUREN MITCHELL VARSAMIS, ON BEHALF OF THEMSELVES AND ALL OTHER SIMILARLY SITUTATED, Plaintiffs,
v.
IBERIA LÍNEAS AÉREAS DE ESPAÑA, S.A., OPERADORA, SOCIEDAD UNIPERSONAL, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

THOMAS M. DURKIN, District Judge.

James Varsamis and Lauren Mitchell Varsamis purchased airline tickets for travel between the United States and Europe and for part of their trip traveled on aircraft operated by Iberia Líneas Aereas de España ("Iberia"). See R. 156. Their return flight was delayed, and they bring a putative class action alleging breach of contract (Count I) and violation of a European Union regulation that requires compensation for airline delays under certain circumstances (Count II). Id. Iberia has moved for summary judgment on the breach of contract claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. R. 158. For the following reasons, Iberia's motion is granted.

Background

On March 28, 2011, the Varsamises purchased two roundtrip tickets on American Airline's website for transportation from Dallas to Italy. R. 176 ¶¶ 3-4. American issued an electronic ticket receipt to the Varsamises reflecting their travel itinerary and the terms and conditions governing their transportation. Id. ¶ 6. The receipt showed that the Varsamises were scheduled to fly from Dallas to Madrid on June 10 on American flight 36, and from Madrid to Venice on June 11 on American flight 5312, which was to be operated by Air Nostrum for Iberia. Id. ¶ 7. The Varsamises were then scheduled to depart from Rome to Madrid on June 25 on American flight 5664, which was also to be operated by Iberia, and then on to Dallas on American flight 37. Id.

The electronic receipt provided that "[a] summary of Terms and Conditions applicable to your travel is available... at www.aa.com/conditionsofcarriage." R. 160-5 at 17. The document at this web address is titled "Conditions of Carriage." The first paragraph of American's Conditions provides:

Your ticket and the following Conditions of Carriage constitute the contract between you, the passenger, and American Airlines, Inc. ("American") and apply to all transportation provided by American (including transportation on codeshare partners[ ]) between points in the United States (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Foreign air transportation is governed by applicable tariffs on file with the Department of Transportation. See Canadian General Rules Tariff and International General Rules Tariff [hyperlink to http://www.aa.com/i18n/Tariffs/AA1.html].

R. 160-3 at 47. The tariff applicable to American provides that it governs the conduct of:

the air carrier issuing the ticket and all air carriers that carry or undertake to carry the passenger and/or his baggage thereunder or perform or undertake to perform any other services related to such air carriage.

R. 160-4 at 3. The Tariff also provides:

Damages occasioned by delay are subject to the terms, limitations and defenses set forth in the Warsaw Convention and the Montreal Convention, whichever may apply. They include foreseeable compensatory damages by a passenger and do not include mental injury damages.

Id. at 19.

The second paragraph of American's Conditions provides that:

American will act as an agent to issue tickets, check baggage and book reservations for transportation via other carriers which have interline agreements with American. Other carriers may have different terms and conditions applicable to their ...

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