NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York lawyer is suing Delta Air Lines for $1 million, saying his family vacation turned into a nightmare after they were stranded in an airport for days and treated disdainfully by airline employees.
Richard Roth, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of himself and his mother, said he planned the Christmas 2007 trip to Buenos Aires to celebrate his mother’s 80th birthday. She had grown up in the city, but had not returned in years, he said.
Instead, Roth, his two teenage children, his wife and mother spent three days in airports, went days without their luggage, were treated rudely by airline employees and were forced to spend $21,000 on unused hotel rooms in Argentina, replacement clothes, and other costs.
“Through its gross negligence, malfeasance and absolute incompetence, Mr. Roth holds Delta responsible for ruining his vacation,” said the lawsuit, filed in New York state court.
Delta Air Lines Inc had no immediate comment.
Roth said that he has been in touch with Delta about getting reimbursed, but was repeatedly rebuffed. He told Reuters on Wednesday filing the suit was a last resort.
After the initial flight from New York was delayed by more than two hours, the family was not allowed to board their connecting flight in Atlanta, Roth said.
A Delta employee “literally walked away chuckling that he had left them stranded,” he said.
After waiting in the airport for hours, Roth was told the next available flight would depart more than two weeks later.
He then booked a flight through a different airline and arrived in Argentina three days later than planned. The family was not reunited with their luggage for more than five days.
“Suffice it to say, Mr. Roth’s elderly mother was a mess. And she has been suffering ever since. The kids are all upset. And it was Christmas Eve. Mr. Roth had spent one-half of his vacation in Buenos Aires chasing Delta and its incompetent representatives,” the lawsuit said.
Reporting by Edith Honan, Editing by Sandra Maler