Lawsuit says United delays passenger bags in favor of paid cargo

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Passengers who wonder why their checked-bags don't arrive at their destination may want to take a look at a lawsuit that asserts that United Airlines gives bags the boot if space is needed for cargo shipments, Crain's Chicago Business reports.

"United's removal of checked baggage, or failure to place checked baggage onto the aircraft altogether, is done arbitrarily, capriciously, with improper motive, and in a manner inconsistent with the reasonable expectations of its passengers," according to the lawsuit filed by Gina Spadoni, who paid $25 to check a bag from Chicago to Los Angeles in September. That bag wasn't on her flight and she had to buy new clothes for an event.

The suit contends that passengers have no recourse for late bags, but since cargo customers get a guarantee, the airline gives them priority. The suit, filed in Chicago's Cook County Circuit Court, seeks class-action status.

The lawsuit "is without merit, and we will vigorously defend against it," a United spokeswoman said in a statement.

Read the full story at Crain's Chicago Business.

—By CNBC staff. Follow Road Warrior on Twitter at @CNBCtravel.