Lawsuit Alleges Price-Fixing by Four Airlines

New York -- A lawsuit filed in federal court here late Friday alleges that four transatlantic airlines--United, American, British Airways, and Virgin Atlantic--fixed prices on fuel surcharges.

Filed by Susan Saldana, of Newton, Mass., and Ian Reynell, of Chicago, the lawsuit follows public disclosure of an investigation by British and American authorities into possible price-fixing by transatlantic, commercial airlines.

British Airways last week acknowledged that it was a target of the investigation and announced it had put two executives on leave in connection with the matter. United, American, and Virgin Atlantic said they were aware of the probe. American claimed it is not a target.

The plaintiffs seek reimbursement and damages against the airlines. They are also attempting to win class-action status for their lawsuit, thereby including all travelers who bought transatlantic tickets from the defendants over the past four years.

The four airlines are the only carriers allowed under bilateral treaties to fly directly between London's Heathrow Airport and the United States.