Department of Transportation Rules in Favor of Airlines
On June 15, 2007, the U.S. Department of Transportation ruled that new terminal charges imposed at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) were unjustly discriminatory against AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, ATA Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Midwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and US Airways Group. A joint press release from those carriers stated that the: "DOT ruling represents a clear victory for the airlines. We are gratified that the DOT has recognized that LAWA’s actions resulted in unjust discrimination against the Terminal 1 and 3 carriers, and has ordered LAWA to refund the excessive rents it charged to those airlines." The ruling was the result of a joint complaint the airlines filed in February with the DOT in opposition to new terminal charges at LAX that dramatically increased the airlines’ costs, and followed a four week trial in Los Angeles in April. The airlines were represented by attorneys from Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP in Washington, D.C.