Sue United Airlines in Small Claims Court

Air travel is the most convenient mode of transportation in the modern world. Unfortunately, this does not mean that frequent flyers are free of hurdles and nuisances. In many cases, travelers are wronged in a way that guarantees their incurrence of additional costs, for which companies like United Airlines often refuse to reimburse them. And in such a scenario, the general best course of action is turning to a small claims court. However, for individuals who are not legal-savvy, even a minor claims court procedure may seem overwhelmingly complicated. 

The abundance of such frustrating experiences has led to the creation of DoNotPay – a modern, AI-powered service designed to aid the average individual in quickly conducting themselves during any small claims case. DoNotPay stands at the forefront of real-world, practical applications of AI technology. Users can effortlessly access their highly advanced chatbots via the iPhone app or the web browser app. The chatbot is there to pose a series of simple questions regarding your specific case. And from there, the app will help you efficiently file your lawsuit against United Airlines in a small claims court. 

The streamlined guidance provided by DoNotPay turns an often time-consuming process into a stress-free experience through only a few simple steps. DoNotPay helps its users file the most comprehensive legal argument possible, in much less time than they could complete the process on their own. All you need is to give DoNotPay some necessary information regarding the small claims case. After that, DoNotPay can automatically generate all of the required legal forms and fill them out. On top of this, you will also learn the best legal arguments on which to base your court appearance. 

How suing United Airlines with DoNotPay works

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The process of suing United Airlines with DoNotPay is utterly simple, consisting of only a few easy steps. Before it all:

Download DoNotPay’s free app for the iPhone or on your web browser

  1. Check the eligibility of your claim in a small claims court
  2. Produce a demand letter
  3. Fill out the required court forms
  4. File a complaint with the court
  5. Serve United Airlines with the lawsuit
  6. Appear on the court date

Check the eligibility of your claim in a small claims court

Before you file a lawsuit against United Airlines, you need to make sure that your case is eligible for a procedure in small claims court, to begin with. Generally, small claims courts exist to aid people in recovering smaller amounts of money without dealing with attorneys and more complicated legal proceedings. Such courts give the average consumer an opportunity to present their case through a simple court procedure. The plaintiff appears in front of a judge, who ascertains the facts of the case and makes a ruling on whether the defendant needs to pay any money. 

Almost every state has some kind of small claims court. Though, their rules may vary based on the jurisdiction in question, from state to state. Also, the maximum amounts of money that can be awarded are different as well. When considering the eligibility of your case in a small claims court, you need to consider:

  • The sum of money: Depending on the state in question, small claims courts have differing maximum dollar amounts you can sue for. Generally, these are $10,000 or $5,000. However, in some states, they can be as low as $2,500 or as high as $12,000. You can learn about all the monetary limits in different states here.
  • Types of rewards: When you file a lawsuit, you can seek two different kinds of rewards. Firstly, there are monetary rewards in the form of a dollar payment. Secondly, there are equitable rewards, which represent any other kind of non-monetary request. Bear in mind that small claims courts generally only rule on monetary rewards. 
Type of reward Small claims court eligibility
Monetary Reward Yes
Equitable (Non-Monetary) Reward In most cases, no

Produce a demand letter using DoNotPay 

Once you’ve made sure that you can make a case in a small claims court, your next step is producing a demand letter. Most small claims courts demand that you inform the potential defendant of your claims before filing a lawsuit with the court. This step of the process exists to give companies like United Airlines the chance to fix the issue in question on their own before it ever reaches a court. This is done via the aforementioned “demand letter,” structured with the following elements:

  1. Your personal details: You need to present yourself to the company with personal information such as your name, legal address, and contact information like an email address and phone number.
  2. Your demands: The letter must contain a succinct description of your problem with United Airlines, as well as your suggestions on how to resolve them. 
  3. Your intention to file a lawsuit: Lastly, the letter has to contain a clear statement of intent to sue United Airlines, should they refuse to settle the described problem voluntarily. 

If you install the DoNotPay iPhone app or use the web browser app, you don’t need to trouble yourself with the demand letter at all. All you need to do is provide DoNotPay chatbot with the required information through a simple set of questions. Once you’re done, DoNotPay will generate a superbly written demand letter for you. After that, your only obligation is to print the letter out and send it to United Airlines using their legal address. Mail the demand letter to:

The legal name of the company: United Airlines, Inc.

The Corporation Trust Company

Registered address: Corporation Trust Center 1209 Orange St
City and state: Wilmington, DE 19801

Crafting a compelling demand letter via DoNotPay is essential for the recuperation of your losses. In a third of all cases, a large company like United Airlines will seek to avoid a court proceeding altogether and oblige the user’s requests. 

Fill out the required court forms using DoNotPay

If the demand letter has not resulted in the resolution of your problem with United Airlines, you can file a lawsuit against United Airlines in small claims court. In order to do that, you will have to fill out a set of court forms. Also, there may be additional county forms to fill out. It’s important to learn of all the required court forms, as a misstep here can result in your case being thrown out. Once you fill them out, you will need to mail them to the court or present them in person. Here, it is crucial to prepare the required amount of copies, which vary from state to state.  

DoNotPay will relieve you of a huge burden in this part of the process, as well. Using the web browser app or the iPhone app, you will receive the required forms already filled out. DoNotPay will provide you with the correct forms based on your location, and it will make sure that you possess the required number of copies. You don’t have to do any online research and trouble yourself with time-wasting details; the process is entirely automated. 

File a Complaint with the Court with DoNotPay

Once you’ve filled out all of the needed court forms using DoNotPay, it’s time to file them with the court. Depending on the court in question, this can be an arduous process. While some courts allow plaintiffs to file their forms via online applications, fax, or mail, others require that you do this in person. You may need to physically appear at the court during specific working hours, and deliver the forms yourself to the clerk. Once you’ve filed the suit, you will receive a stamped copy of your forms, as well as a court date on which to appear. Don’t forget to bring these stamped copies on the designated court date. 

Also, all small claims courts require the plaintiffs’ payment of a filing fee. This fee also varies from state to state, ranging from $30 to $75. You can usually find it stated on the court’s website. Though, in the case of plaintiffs with a particularly low income, the fee may be waived altogether. To summarize, make sure you pay attention to the:

  • The required filing fee for the court forms
  • The assigned court date for your hearing

Serve United Airlines 

If you’ve successfully filed your suit with the court, all that’s left is to inform United Airlines about your lawsuit. This process is called “serving” the defendant. Basically, it means delivering a stamped copy of your court forms to United Airlines. Here, it is important to follow all of the court rules on serving defendants, as doing otherwise means risking the dismissal of your case. 

Unfortunately, small claims courts across the country also have different rules for the proper serving of defendants. This is no cause for concern, though, as DoNotPay can assist you in this part of the process as well. Depending on the court you’ll appear before, DoNotPay will provide you with instructions on serving United Airlines according to court rules. 

Appear on the court date with the help of DoNotPay

Once all of the above-mentioned preparations have been made, it’s time for you to appear before the judge and state your case. Before the given date, double-check which courthouse you need to appear at. Also, make sure that you have all of the filed forms with you, as well as any additional evidence for the case against United Airlines. 

In some situations, representatives of United Airlines may not even appear to oppose your lawsuit. Should that happen, use this advantage to present your side of the story to the judge as strongly as possible. 

For many people, this part of the proceedings may be the most troubling of all. But with the aid of DoNotPay, any individual plaintiff will be able to present their case expertly in front of any judge. Depending on the nature of your case, DoNotPay will prepare a script for your court appearance. Within, you will find guidelines for properly identifying each of the elements of your claim in front of the court. 

Also, you will receive a court strategy for the eventuality of United Airlines not showing up. DoNotPay tailors these strategies for each specific case. You will even be provided with a list of paperwork or physical evidence you should present, if any. With the help of DoNotPay, any air passenger can do their best against United Airlines in a small claims court.  

To summarize, DoNotPay will provide you with:

  • A custom-tailored court strategy 
  • A detailed courtroom scenario for you to follow
  • A list of evidence to present before the judge

When can I sue United Airlines?

While you may technically attempt to sue United Airlines using DoNotPay in any situation, you should only do so when you have a real chance of winning the case. Based on legal precedents listed in the Air Travelers guide of the Department of Transportation, these are the situations in which you should file a suit:

  1. Cancellation of a connecting flight
  2. Cancellation of a flight, which results in an overnight stay without reimbursement
  3. Loss of luggage 

Sue United Airlines for canceled flights

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If your connecting flight is delayed or canceled, United Airlines may offer to arrange ground transportation to your destination. Obviously, this would result in a much less comfortable and lengthy ride. In such a situation, you should attempt to request a refund for the difference in the provided services. 

In the case of cancellation of an international flight, you may be forced to spend the night in an unplanned location. Thus, the airline should reimburse you for the full cost of the delay, which means more than a mere coupon. 

In one instance, a passenger managed to win $900 in a court case against United Airlines in such a situation. Due to a delay at a Zurich airport, the passenger couldn’t fly out until the following day. And United Airlines saw fit to offer him only a $300 coupon. However, one short court case later, United paid him the full amount of the estimated refund. 

Sue United Airlines for the loss of luggage


Should an airline misplace or damage your baggage, you definitely have a chance of winning a refund in small claims court. According to the Department of Transportation regulations, you can file a claim for up to $3,300 as reimbursement. Many travelers with lost bags are disheartened and miss out on filing a suit, seeing as they rarely have the receipts for the bags’ contents. However, travel attorneys state that there’s a high chance of winning money even without a receipt. 

In one case, a woman named Carol Frost managed to win $1,500 as reimbursement for her lost luggage. While the airline fought her case, and it took a while, her persistence paid off in the end.

What else can DoNotPay do?

Apart from helping its users fight their battles in the small claims court, DoNotPay can help with an array of other issues such as:

In conclusion

As you can see, the process of suing United Airlines in a small claims court can be quite simple. DoNotPay goes a long way toward automatizing most of the proceedings and doing all of the tiresome paperwork for you. All of the menial bureaucratic tasks that would otherwise take up hours of your time are whittled down to a couple of minutes spent on the DoNotPay iPhone app or web browser app.