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CONSUMERS TO RECEIVE AIRLINE ANTITRUST CLAIM FORMS

 CONSUMERS TO RECEIVE AIRLINE ANTITRUST CLAIM FORMS
 ATLANTA, July 30 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of a pending settlement in


a class action lawsuit alleging price fixing on airline tickets, nearly 10 million claim forms will arrive in homes and businesses during the next two weeks, according to liaison counsel for the plaintiffs W. Pitts Carr of Carr, Tabb & Pope in Atlanta.
 "The form is simple to complete," said Carr. "Form A requires a sworn statement that the person purchased at least one airline ticket during the period from one of the airlines for travel to or from a hub. Form B is for claiming purchases of at least five round-trip or 10 one- way tickets valued at less than $2,500. And the third form, which requires documentation, is for purchases in excess of $2,500."
 The forms are being mailed to purchasers of tickets between Jan. 1, 1988, and June 30, 1992, on American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Midway Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Pan American World Airways, Trans World Airlines, United Airlines and USAir.
 "Claimants will receive certificates good for discounts on the purchase of future airline travel. The certificates are interchangeable among airlines, with the exception of the Northwest certificate," Carr said. "The certificates are good for discounts against any fare in the system including discount, super saver and maxi saver fares."
 The class action lawsuit, filed in July 1990, is pending in the United States District Court in Atlanta. The lawsuit alleges that the defendant airlines and the Airline Tariff Publishing Company, Inc. violated antitrust laws by engaging in a conspiracy to fix prices. While none of the defendants admitted wrongdoing, settlements were reached which total $458 million, including $408 million in travel certificates and $50 million in cash.
 The settlement must be approved by the court. According to Carr, a hearing will be held on Oct. 19 in U.S. District Court in Atlanta to determine final approval.
 In addition to the claim form distribution, 67 newspapers around the country will carry advertisements this week encouraging people who did not receive a notice and claim form in the mail and who purchased airline tickets during the time period to request a claim form by sending their name and address on a postcard (or letter) to: Airlines Antitrust Litigation, P.O. Box 267, Pennsauken, NJ 08110-0267.
 "I encourage everyone to request a form if they do not receive one in the mail," said Carr. "The few minutes spent completing the form are well worth the effort when you consider the return."
 All claim forms must be postmarked on or before Feb. 15, 1993.
 FACT SHEET
 Airline Antitrust Background
 Q. How did this all begin?
 A. In 1990, a class-action suit was brought by airline ticket purchasers against American, Continental, Delta, Midway, Northwest, Pan Am, TWA, United and USAir alleging that these airlines engaged in an unlawful conspiracy to fix prices.
 The case alleges that the airlines used an industry-wide computer system to engage in "electronic signaling" regarding future pricing intentions. The airlines transmit their fare changes -- thousands each day -- into a central computer system run by the Airline Tariff Publishing Company (ATP), which then inputs the changes which are then available to subscribers such as various computer reservations systems the airlines and travel agents use to book tickets.
 Q. What is the current status of the suit?
 A. Settlements have been reached which total $458 million -- $408 million in discount certificates for future airline ticket purchases and $50 million in cash. This settlement is pending approval by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on Oct. 19. The court is expected to make a ruling after the fairness hearing on Oct. 19.
 Q. What are the terms of the settlement?
 A. The airlines have agreed to offer the following settlement:
 American, Delta, United and USAir have agreed to pay $44 million in cash as well as $368.5 million in interchangeable certificates usable toward the purchase of tickets on American, Delta, United, USAir, Continental and TWA.
 TWA has agreed to pay $20 million in interchangeable certificates and $1 million in cash.
 Continental has agreed to pay $8 million in interchangeable certificates.
 Northwest has agreed to pay $5 million in cash and $11.5 million in non-interchangeable certificates usable for tickets purchased for travel on Northwest flights only.
 Q. What amount can an individual receive?
 A. The amount an individual will receive depends on the number of people participating in the claims process and the amount of claims submitted.
 Two funds have been set up for the process. The base fund consists of $268,984,000 in discount certificates. The supplemental fund consists of $127,516,000 in discount certificates and is for people who bought five or more round-trip tickets or 10 one-way tickets or their equivalent.
 Q. Who is eligible to make a claim?
 A. Anyone who purchased a ticket between Jan. 1, 1988, and June 30, 1992, on one or more of the airlines involved to, from or through a hub city.
 Q. What steps must be taken to file?
 A. The plaintiffs have mailed notice of the settlement and claims forms to approximately 10 million people, compiled from a list provided by defendant airlines. Claimants not receiving a form can request one by sending a postcard (or letter) with their name and address to: Airline Antitrust Litigation, P.O. Box 267, Pennsauken, NJ 08110-0267.
 Q. Are there different forms for filing?
 A. Yes.
 Form A is a short claim form requiring only a sworn statement that the person purchased at least one domestic airline ticket during the period from one of the airlines. No detail or documentation is required.
 Form B requires the claimant to list the cities he flew to, from or through during the period. This form should be used to claim purchases of at least five round-trip tickets. Purchases on Form B will be valued at $2,500 regardless of the actual amount of purchases. No documentation is required to be filed with the claim form.
 Form C, intended for the individuals/businesses who purchased at least five round-trip tickets with detailed records of airline ticket purchases, requires documentation. Form C is for those wanting to pursue a claim for ticket purchases calculated to exceed $2,500.
 Q. Can an individual fill out more than one claim form?
 A. There is no need to fill out more than one claim form. Persons filling out Forms B and C will also participate in the Base Fund.
 Q. Can you use one claim form for flights on different airlines?
 A. Yes, as long as the flights were on one of the defendant airlines and were to, from or through one of the hubs.
 Q. When will people get the certificates?
 A. It is anticipated that distribution will be made in mid- to late-1993, although the timing is subject to court approval and the volume of claims to be processed.
 Q. Must you have traveled to, from or through certain cities to be eligible for reimbursement?
 A. Yes. You must have started, passed through, or ended your flight at: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago (O'Hare or Midway), Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, Dayton, Denver, Detroit, Houston (IAH), Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Nashville, Newark, New York (JFK or LaGuardia), Orlando, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Raleigh/Durham, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, San Jose, St. Louis, Syracuse or Washington (National or Dulles).
 Q. Is the certificate good for domestic flights only?
 A. Yes.
 Q. Are the certificates interchangeable?
 A. Most of them are. American, Delta, United, USAir, Continental and TWA certificates are interchangeable among those airlines. Northwest certificates are non-interchangeable and can be used for tickets purchased for travel on Northwest flights only.
 Q. How will the certificates be applied to air purchases?
 A. The maximum amount of certificates issued that may be used as a credit against a single round-trip ticket increases as the round-trip price increases, according to the following charts:
 American, Continental,
 Delta, TWA, United and Northwest
 USAir Certificate Round-trip Certificate Round-trip
 Amount ($) price ($) Amount price ($)
 10 50 or over 25 100-200
 25 250 or over 50 201-300
 50 500 or over 75 301-400
 75 750 or over 100 401-500
 100 1,000 or over 125 501-750
 125 1,250 or over 150 751-1,000
 150 1,500 or over 200 1,000-plus
 Q. What is the last date that claims can be submitted?
 A. All claims must be postmarked on or before Feb. 15, 1993.
 Q. Will the certificates expire after a certain amount of time?
 A. Yes. All certificates issued by American, Continental, Delta, TWA, United and USAir are redeemable up to 36 months from being mailed. Certificates issued by Northwest must be redeemed within 24 months from being mailed. Tickets purchased with certificates must be used for travel no more than one year after the ticket is issued.
 A CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS
 IN THE DOMESTIC AIR TRANSPORTATION ANTITRUST LITIGATION
 July 1990 -- A class-action suit is filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, by purchasers of domestic airline tickets, against American, Continental, Delta, Midway, Northwest, Pan Am, TWA, United and USAir and the Airline Tariff Publishing Company, Inc., alleging that the airlines violated the antitrust laws by engaging in an unlawful conspiracy to fix prices.
 May 15, 1991 -- Northwest agrees to a settlement of $5 million in cash and $11.5 million in discount certificates.
 June 4, 1991 -- TWA offers $1 million in cash and $20 million in discount certificates.
 June 22, 1992 -- American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and USAir agree to settle out of court for $44 million in cash and $368.5 million in discount certificates.
 July 2, 1992 -- Continental agrees to settle for $8 million in discount certificates.
 July 13, 1992 -- The U.S. District Court gives preliminary approval of the settlement and authorizes notice to the Class.
 Aug. 20, 1992 -- Applications for attorneys' fees must be filed with the Clerk of Court.
 Sept. 8, 1992 -- The deadline to request exclusion from the Class. Exclusion from the Class renders a person ineligible to share in the proceeds of any of the settlements and makes him or her free to pursue individual legal action against the airlines.
 Oct. 19, 1992 -- The court will hold the fairness hearing to determine final approval of the settlements and application for attorneys' fees.
 Feb. 15, 1993 -- The deadline for filing claim forms to receive discount certificates.
 -0- 7/30/92 R
 /CONTACT: Randy Jones or Kathy Cosgrove of CHD Public Relations, 404-892-4505 for Carr, Tabb & Pope/ CO: Carr, Tabb & Pope ST: Georgia IN: AIR LEI SU:


BN-BR -- AT006 -- 5182 07/30/92 14:35 EDT
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