The Federal Court has issued an order for 37 websites that encourage Judicialization in the airline sector to be prevented from operating. These websites or apps seek to encourage passengers to file lawsuits against the companies, rather than seeking other types of assistance, such as customer service or Consumer.gov. Such a practice is condemned in the airline industry, which calls these groups “vulture sites”.
The annual cost of the airline industry with lawsuits has already reached R$ 1 billion, according to an estimate by the National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC). Data from the National Corregedoria of the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB) reveal that since the end of 2019 until today, there are 65 websites and applications mapped, which encourage judicialization in commercial aviation.
In the period, the OAB filed dozens of actions in the Federal Courts of several states to curb this practice. The reason is the fact that these companies violate the Code of Ethics and the OAB Statute, through the commercialization of law.
Flights with high regularity
In 2021 and 2020, 215,900 shares were filed, at a time of falling demand compared to 2019 due to the pandemic. That year, 154,700 cases were filed. The survey was carried out by Lee, Brock e Camargo Advogados, according to a recent article by the Economic value.
This increase in shares took place despite the fact that Brazilian airlines registered, in 2021, an average regularity of operated flights of 98%, a performance equal to that of North American companies, according to a survey by the Brazilian Airlines Association (ABEAR), with data from ANAC. In the United States, the average regularity rate was also 98%, according to information from the Bureau of Transport Statistics (BTS).
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), in Brazil there are 8 cases for every 100 flights, while in the United States, there are 0.01 cases for every 100 flights. In other words, the chance that a passenger on a domestic flight in Brazil will sue the company is 800 times greater than that on a domestic flight in North American territory. In the Brazil – United States market, this number increases: there are 79 cases for every 100 flights. On practically all flights between the two countries, at least one process must take place.
In 2017, a North American airline operating in Brazil performed 5,000 daily flights in the US and received 130 lawsuits filed by consumers in that country. Here in Brazil, in the same period, the same company had 5 daily flights and received around 1,200 lawsuits, that is, almost 10 times more lawsuits, even operating 0.1% of the number of flights they have in the United States.
With information from ABEAR (adapted)