DALLAS (CN) – Southwest Airlines claims that a subscription-based Internet check-in service illegally circumvents and diverts business from the airline’s own website.
Checkinsooner.com in Oklahoma uses “proxy server technology” to automatically check in clients for Southwest flights, violating the terms and conditions of Southwest’s website, according to the airline’s federal complaint.
Checkinsooner.com offers a “flight check-in tool that, through an automated process, manipulates and circumvents Southwest’s authorized on-line check-in procedure,” the lawsuit claims.
“Defendants profit from the sale of this tool at the expense of Southwest and the detriment of Southwest’s customers.”
Southwest says the service allows customers who don’t visit Southwest’s site to leapfrog in line over those who do.
The subscription service “generates a check-in procedure, as if the client had visited southwest.com in person at the very beginning of the pre-departure check-in time window,” the complaint claims. “Thus, defendant’s proxy server technology puts defendants’ clients in front of Southwest’s customers who check in through Southwest’s authorized check-in procedures.”
The airline seeks unspecified damages and an injunction for alleged fraud with a computer, harmful access by computer, liability and breach of contract.
It is represented by James Nelson of Jules Elese.