9 November 2017Trademarks

Delta sues Florida man over bogus tickets website

Delta Airlines has sued a Miami-based man who allegedly runs a website which used Delta’s registered trademarks to fool customers into booking tickets over the phone.

The complaint was filed at the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida on Tuesday, November 7.

The defendant, Manuel Castro, was accused of setting up the ‘American Travel & Tours of Miami’ website “to confuse visitors into believing that they have found the actual Delta website, and to then contact defendants to purchase airfares and/or modifications to existing Delta tickets”.

According to the complaint, consumers were told to call a toll-free number to amend their tickets, with the “call centre employees identifying themselves as ‘Delta Reservations’”.

Delta owns a number of registered trademarks including 0523611 for ‘Delta Airlines’, first registered in 1950, and 3994004 for ‘Delta Assist’, registered in 2011.

“The website appears to have the functionality to search for flights, but was always non-functional,” Delta added in the complaint.

“Customers who attempted to search for flights via the website were instead directed to call the defendants via the toll-free telephone number displayed on the website,” it further stated.

Delta is seeking injunctive relief, damages and attorneys’ fees.

In 2015, Delta sued an unnamed travel company in Florida for allegedly using its logo and name without authorisation to sell holiday packages.

As reported by WIPR, Atlanta-based Delta decided not to name the defendant in order to be granted a raid on the company’s premises. Delta did not want the company to be notified of the lawsuit.

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3 May 2018   Delta Air Lines’ lawsuit against an alleged “fraudulent” ticket platform has been settled, prompting the discontinuance of the case.