Introduction to suing Southwest Airlines in Small Claims Court
Southwest Airlines can be sued for $20,000 in their home state of Texas in small claims court. In other state, it can be as much as $20,000.
People often sue the company for:
- Flight canceled the day of departure
- Flight was delayed for more than 4 hours
- Loss of luggage and/or mistreatment of personal items
The first step of suing Southwest Airlines in Small Claims Court
The first and most important thing to do when suing Southwest Airlines is to make sure that you sue the right legal entity. Big companies often own lots of smaller companies that are very interconnected, so be sure to review the contracts you’ve signed with Southwest Airlines for any legal entities they mention in your contract with them. By suing the wrong company, even if owned by the same parent company, you can have your case dismissed and you’ll have to file another small claims lawsuit.
In many cases, the legal name of Southwest Airlines is Southwest Airlines CO. but be sure to double-check!
Finding Southwest Airlines's Registered Agent
The registered agent of Southwest Airlines in the state of incorporation is:
Corporation Service Company
251 LITTLE FALLS DRIVE, WILMINGTON, New Castle, DE, 19808
If you’re suing Southwest Airlines in another state, then you might need to name a different registered agent. You can always send a demand letter to The Corporation Trust Company in Delaware no matter what state you’re filing in.
See below to find the registered agent for Southwest Airlines in your state.
How to write a Demand Letter to Southwest Airlines
- On the top, in the address block, put in the company name and address:
211 E. 7th Street, Suite 620, Austin, TX, 78701-3218, USA
- Next, put the subject line as 'Re: Demand for Payment'
- In one sentence, tell them how much Southwest Airlines owes you which you will claim in your small claims lawsuit.
- Then, in two to three sentences describe your issue. (ex: why you are owed for Failure to deliver package)
- Finally, state in plain language that you will go to small claims court if necessary. Don't say that you will do anything else, such as speaking poorly about them.
- On the bottom, include your name and address
How to send a demand letter to Southwest Airlines
After you write the demand letter to Southwest Airlines, you’ll want to send it to their registered agent so that it’s guaranteed to go to the legal department. Make sure that you get a tracking number for the mail you send them. It can become important evidence in your case.
File your small claims forms against Southwest Airlines
You’ll need to find and prepare your small claims form based on where you decide to sue. Usually, people sue where the defendant lives or does business.
Then, wherever you decide to sue, look up the county small claims system. They’ll provide details on their website about what small claims forms are necessary. You can read more about the small claims process here.
Serve your small claims paperwork to Southwest Airlines
One of the last steps before your trial will be to physically give the small claims paperwork to Southwest Airlines. In order to keep your court date, you should hire a professional process server so that you can be sure all legal guidelines are appropriately followed.
Go to your small claims trial against Southwest Airlines
On the date of your small claims trial, be sure to arrive early and well prepared. Bring at least three copies of all evidence you intend to present, and if your hearing is remote be sure to have provided copies in advance to the other party and to the court. Failure to follow the strict local guidelines can result in your case being dismissed, but if you’ve followed the rules then you can often win by default when the other party doesn’t show up.