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MASLAN v. AMERICAN AIRLINES

May 3, 1995

NEAL L. MASLAN, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff, against AMERICAN AIRLINES, INC., d/b/a ADMIRALS CLUB, Defendant.

ROBERT W. SWEET, U.S.D.J.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: ROBERT W. SWEET

Sweet, D.J.

 In this breach of contract suit brought by Neal Maslan ("Maslan") on behalf of himself and a putative class of others similarly situated, defendant American Airlines, Inc. ("American") moves for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56, Fed. R. Civ. P. This Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. For the reasons discussed herein, summary judgment will be granted.

 The Parties

 American, a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Fort Worth, Texas, is a passenger airline company which also operates ground facilities at airports in numerous locations. Maslan, a natural person, is a California resident who is a member of American's Admirals Club.

 Prior Proceedings

 Maslan commenced this action in state court in New York on December 9, 1993. The action was removed to this Court on January 11, 1994. American filed an answer on February 3, 1994. Discovery was conducted and American filed the within motion on October 20, 1994. Maslan filed responsive papers on November 22, 1994; American made its reply on December 5, 1994 and oral argument was heard on that date.

 The Facts

 American operates a number of private airport clubs known as "Admirals Clubs" located in various airports such as those of Boston, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Cleveland, San Francisco, St. Louis, Toronto, Washington and one facility in each of New York's LaGuardia and Kennedy Airports. The administrative offices of American are located in Fort Worth, Texas.

 Membership in the Admirals Club is open to all persons 18 years of age and older upon application and payment of the appropriate dues. Individuals have the option of paying annual dues or becoming lifetime members of the Club in exchange for a one-time payment of lifetime membership dues. Maslan became a lifetime member in 1977. He paid $ 300 in lifetime membership dues.

 Admirals Club members are entitled to utilize club facilities and certain other amenities, such as Admirals Club conference rooms to conduct business and other meetings. From the time that Maslan became a lifetime member of the Admirals Club until 1986, members were entitled to utilize conference room facilities at Admirals Clubs without any charge beyond the prepaid lifetime fee.

 On November 1, 1986, American began charging Club members $ 25.00 per hour for each hour of conference room use after the first hour. On September 15, 1989, American began charging $ 25.00 for each hour including the first hour. At some time during 1993 American opened new conference facilities at New York's LaGuardia Airport and Chicago's O'Hare International, at which American charges a minimum of $ 40 per hour from the first hour.

 In 1988 these conference room rental charges produced $ 430,000 of revenue for American. In 1989 American executives projected that their conference rooms at LaGuardia alone would produce an annual revenue of $ 286,700.

 Between 1977 and the commencement of this action Maslan flew over one million miles on American. Since the imposition of charges for conference room time he has flown on other airlines and used the conference facilities of those other airlines, used other non-private American airport facilities for meetings, or ...


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