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New Jersey Superior Court Rules That Airlines Don't Have To Accept Cash In The Cabin

Travelers Today      

Updated: Feb 26, 2013 12:38 PM EST

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During his Honolulu-to-Newark flight on Continental Airlines Michael Rosen wanted to buy a set of headphones for $3 and an alcoholic cocktail for $5, but when he flashed the cash he was informed that his form of payment would not be accepted.

The reason was due to the policy the airline instituted in 2009 to address accounting and security concerns, stated

As a result, Rosen, who left his credit cards in his checked luggage sued over the grounds of breach of contract, unlawful discrimination against low-income people who don't possess credit cards and violation of New Jersey's Consumer Fraud Act, reported Associated Press.

He also claimed, according to, that his inability to use a headset he had previously purchased from the airline to watching movies and listen to music on that flight violated New Jersey law, represented false advertising and caused him to suffer "severe mental anguish and emotional distress."

But, a three-judge panel rejected those arguments Monday, saying a 1978 federal law regulating airlines preempts state consumer protections, reported

The airline also argued there was no law against a company refusing to take cash and their stance persuaded a trial judge to throw out much of the case on similar grounds, allowing Rosen to proceed with the lawsuit only on grounds that the airlines' practices represented a breach of contract with consumers. 

Trial Judge Denise A. Cobham said Rosen did not prove that others had been negatively affected by the policy, reported

Cobham, along with the other judges, ruled that Rosen didn't have standing to bring a class action on behalf of low-income people, according to Associated Press.

Meaning, for those who want to purchase anything while in the air, bring a credit card, or better yet, an airline specific miles card.

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