Court Rules Airline Doesn’t Need To Accept Cash For In-Flight Purchases

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by uggboy, Feb 25, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    || Court Rules Airline Doesn’t Need To Accept Cash For In-Flight Purchases ||

    I'm a little bit startled about this ruling. There should be a choice between CC's or using cash when paying in-flight for goods.
     
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  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Why?

    If I run a business and I choose to offer my goods only in exchange for shiny rocks, that's my choice. It may inconvenience you if you don't carry a little pile of those rocks with you, but that doesn't make it illegal.

    Prepaid plastic is available in many grocery and drug stores for a nominal fee, so even people who don't have a bank and no access to credit have the ability to get plastic (at a cost, yes, but it costs the airline money to handle cash, too).
     
  3. jfhscott
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    I'm not one to interfere with business policies. But what I really do not understand is the claim that folks who are flying HNL-EWR are "low income" meriting some heightened protection.
     
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  4. legalalien
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    There are 'cash-to-card' machines now at T1 ORD - I imagine installed specifically to help low-income fliers. Instead of accepting cash in-flight, it would be prudent for UA to start selling food and beverage vouchers online or at check-in, with cash being collected at the airport.
     
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  5. LIH Prem
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    the court case was shot down by the NJ Appells court because he sued in state court.

    He could still try to sue in federal court. I think it's an interesting argument.

    -David
     
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  6. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Yup, that's an alternative. There's also the opportunity at most airports to procure food and beverages (alas non-alcoholic) to-go in the terminal, for cash.

    And finally, if I am on the flight, I'd be more than happy to use my mileage-earning credit card for anyone who's got only cash.
     
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  7. HaveMilesWillTravel
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  8. uggboy
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    IMHO, it's common sense to accept cash and don't settle people with "extra costs" and "rules" only because the airline or whichever "business" fancies only to handle CC's. Only because a judge says so, doesn't / nor shouldn't mean we can question this or should "blindly" follow this at all times. This startles me.
     
  9. uggboy
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  10. uggboy
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    It's not about "protection", it's about access and "extra costs". It makes common sense to accept cash, especially from people who don't usually handle CC's or any other form of "plastic".
     
  11. uggboy
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    Good idea, as long it is accessible for all people, [ with or without plastic ] who wish to purchase something on their flights.
     
  12. uggboy
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    IMHO, yes, they could still try to sue the federal court as it is a federal law to begin with. It is an interesting argument. It's simply "odd" IMHO that only because "poorer or lower income" people want to fly to settle them with such choices. It's not about that they want to rob the airlines, it's a law right now in the US on a federal level, a "poor" law IMHO which lowers some people into second class only because of their income.
     
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  13. LIH Prem
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    how much is the fee to use them?

    -David
     
  14. legalalien
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    legalalien Gold Member

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    I have never stopped to check, but will try to remember to do that when I travel next week.
     
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  15. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    It's also common sense for businesses to reduce costs. By not accepting cash they don't have to have a process for handling it.

    Which law?

    I do not believe that it's that difficult for people who can afford to fly around the country to get a debit card. Either prepaid or from a credit union.

    And note that the plaintiff in question was neither poor (lawyer flying between NYC and Hawaii, willing and able to sue) nor did he not have any plastic. Quite frankly, I have no respect for this "work for the poor". If he wanted to do meaningful pro bono work to really benefit the disenfrenchised, I am sure there is something that could be found. This is just a classic frivolous lawsuit by a sleazy lawyer that's clogging the courts and driving all our costs up.
     
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  16. uggboy
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    Sounds like you " don't like consumers " with " cash " and love to " protect / argue " for business. Cash makes sense for me too, a choice would be " pro " consumer. It's easy to say " the rules " are there, that's why we " must " always follow it. As for me, it's about common sense, not cost, by the way, CC's incur also costs, as it handling cash, but I don't consider it a " death " cost for businesses to offer a very simple choice, cash or CC's for payment. Makes sense IMHO.

    Regarding " Which Law? "

    It's a stupid law, especially, many people say " Cash is King " for a reason. [ Common sense ]

    While it doesn't means that every person or business must accept currency for payment, there should be a rule that a choice of paying " dues " with cash or CC's must be provided IMHO. That's where the plaintiff comes in, and rightly so. Only he / she has a CC's shouldn't mean that I must pay with a CC. That's literally anti-consumer and anti-business. The plaintiff wanted to pay with cash and not " rob " the airline, he isn't the bad guy in this case, only because he shows common sense and speaks up.


    The above mentioned law is a federal law and I wish the plaintiff good luck to get this rectified on a federal level.
     
  17. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    No. I am pro-consumer where appropriate, not blindly. After all, I am a consumer myself, and I don't own a business.

    What makes sense to me is that businesses (and consumers) should not be dictated everything.

    So do you want to force Amazon to open up cash payment stations around the country so I can pay for my orders with old-fashioned cash?

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_rel_topic?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200953480

    Perhaps you would also like to sue Randy and Milepoint for not offering Premium memberships in exchange for cash?

    Are you saying the Coinage Act is unconstitutional? Or just bad law? Wwhile I am not a lawyer, I do not think that US courts are tasked with identifying bad laws and modifying them. They can strike down unconstitutional laws. So which part of the US constitution would you argue is violated?

    But the plaintiff here doesn't seem to be arguing that this law is bad or unconstitutional, he was alledging "breach of contract, unlawful discrimination against low-income individuals who don’t possess credit cards and violation of New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act."

    And the state court rejected the suit not because of this federal law being a federal law. It rejected the suit because airlines are regulated by federal law (in general), not state law (like the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act).

    There is no "dues" until both parties have agreed upon a deal. The airline says: "here's the deal I am offering: you give me $6 paid by credit card and I give you a beer". If you accept that deal, your dues are due in the form of payment that's specified as part of the deal. The airline is not even required to offer you any deal. They can just not offer drinks or food (and they often run out of food anyway). What they cannot do is discriminate based on certain criteria, but as far as I know "not carrying plastic" is not a protected class.

    LOL

    ... indeed, good luck.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. LETTERBOY
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    IMHO, it's also common sense to allow businesses to set their own policies free of government intervention. It's also common sense to take your business elsewhere if you don't like said policies. That's the way it works with capitalism and free markets.

    It also makes sense for a business (which an airline is) to reduce the expenses and risks that come with handling cash.
     
  19. mikeschu
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    The ruling makes sense because of the US definitions of legal tender and something called "invitation to treat".

    Essentially, the US Federal Reserve Note states that This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private. The key word in here is debt and specifically when a debt is incurred. From what I understand, a debt is incurred only when a good or service is delivered or agreed upon in a contract, not when it is offered for sale. Therefore, if the flight attendant opens a beer for you and sets it down on your tray table, and you drink it, that's the point at which a debt is incurred and any form of payment is acceptable. There is no debt incurred when they're merely pushing the beverage cart down the aisle and offering drinks for sale. In fact, flight attendants are probably trained to take the payment first and then deliver the drink or food so that they're not caught in the exact situation they describe above.

    This is the same idea behind a McDonald's or other fast food restaurant not accepting large denomination bills or when a shop offers something in their shop for display and is "not for sale". They can do this because of "invitation to treat" and as such has been verified in US Federal courts in quite a few cases.
     
  20. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Every United flight I have been on since they stopped taking cash has also had announcements by the FAs at the beginning of the flight that only credit and debit cards are accepted for payment. That's before they come down the aisle offering to make deals with passengers.
     
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  21. uggboy
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    So, they love my CC's more than my cash and as they " the airline " won't take cash, I presume, they don't want the plaintiffs money, resulting me to believe that the " airline " in this case has no problem with this, because the law says so. Meaning everyone thinks " inside the box " here and accepts this without looking over the edge on this board, by simply stating a " given fact " without taking into consideration the case in hand or what this " really " means. It just seems " weird " to me that everyone wants to defend the " airline " and no-one the plaintiff.
     
  22. Scottrick
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  23. mikeschu
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    False assertion. Airlines don't want their staff to handle cash because it requires more accounting controls, which cost money and time to implement. You have to worry about verifying cash on hand, storing change on the plane or with a flight attendant (ironically, this is what a purser on a ship does), plus getting the money to and from planes, and someone on the other end of the flight verifying cash, storing it, or transiting it to and from financial institutions. Using electronic payments is much simpler for the attendants, plus there's a record of the transaction for both parties. The heavy lifting of the exchange mechanism is done by the ATM/debit/credit card network.

    Also consider that cash can be easily lost, stolen or misappropriated by staff. I'm not implying that any airline staff would be malicious, but considering that fast-food restaurants can fire cashiers for being over/short more than $2 in a day in their till it's not worth the hassle to the airlines or their staff to handle cash.

    I understand this inconviences some fliers, and there are times I'm not entirely thrilled with the policy, but the airlines are within their rights to do it to save time and money for them. It's not about them refusing the business as much as the additional requirements that accepting cash brings on.
     
  24. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Well, you did defend the plaintiff. If no one seems to agree with you (and the plaintiff), does that mean everyone else is wrong?

    I disagree with your arguments and/or don't understand them. I don't think it has anything to do with thinking inside or outside a box.
     
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  25. uggboy
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    Thanks, while this all is true to the fact, in Europe we have never encountered any airline / think BA, Aer Lingus, LH and others / who wouldn't accept cash for purchases, be it something to eat, drink or on-board duty free. I wonder how they handle it?

    I also did not give a " false assertion ", I was simply stating my opinion, while others here stating the given laws and declaring that " the airline in this case " is ever so right and the costs can be brought upon the consumer instead, this bugs me a little bit, that everyone seems to care for the airline, but not for the passengers who must live with it.

    While I'm not for regulations in many cases, there are some cases who need a closer inspection from time to time and I'm sure a captive audience in a plane is ever so slightly different than in a " normal " shopping environment. Remember the case, the passenger had his credit card by mistake packed into his hold luggage and now wanted to pay with cash, " oh, this is such a crime ", but he couldn't and was refused. It's unlikely that a shop on the street level or airport would have refused his cash.
     

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