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Man sues Continental for breach of contract

A 10-hour, booze-less, movie-less flight proved so boring for one man that he is taking legal action against Continental Airlines.

The man is upset that he was turned away when attempting to purchase in-flight entertainment and cocktails on a 10-hour flight from Hawaii to Newark, New Jersey. Continental Airlines’ policy states that those amenities must be purchased with a credit card or debit card. Cash, which is the only currency the man had on his person, is not accepted.

According to, the man filed a lawsuit in October with the Superior Court in Essex County, New Jersey. The lawsuit accuses the airline giant of a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, breach of contract and false advertising.

The man sees his stance as a consumer rights’ issue, according to The problems began when the man boarded his plane in January 2010 in Hawaii equipped with a headset that he purchased on a previous Continental flight. He had been told it would work on later flights, but the headset jack was not compatible with the airplane, which meant he could not access the audio for in-flight television, movies and music.

The man’s other option besides no entertainment was to purchase a new headset that would work on the plane, but he wasn’t carrying a credit card or debit card — he had left it in his luggage. Flight attendants refused to accept cash for the $3 headset. The same thing happened when he attempted to buy a cocktail.

The airline argues that there is no law that states a business must accept cash. The man is looking for an unspecified amount of damages and may seek class-action status for the lawsuit.

Source:, “Lawsuit challenges Continental’s refusal to take cash for cocktails,” Richard Newman, Aug. 17, 2011


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