Smith v. Hotels.com
This class action alleged that Hotels.com, one of the world’s largest online travel agencies, discriminated against disabled travelers by refusing to guarantee reservations for wheelchair-accessible rooms. A settlement required Hotels.com and its parent company, Expedia, Inc., to revise their websites and reservation systems so that disabled travelers are able to search for and reserve hotels rooms with the accessibility features they need.
Charging discrimination against people with disabilities, Public Justice, Disability Rights Advocates (DRA), and Chavez & Gertler LLP filed a class action against Hotels.com, one of the world’s largest online travel agencies. The lawsuit alleged that Hotels.com violated California civil rights and consumer protection laws by refusing to guarantee reservations for wheelchair-accessible rooms. On January 15, 2009, a settlement among the parties was approved by the court. The settlement required Hotels.com, and its parent company Expedia, Inc., to survey their hotel partners to determine what accessibility features are offered by the hotels, and then incorporate that information into their websites and reservation systems so travelers can search for and reserve accessible hotel rooms. Sid Wolinsky and Kevin Knestrick of DRA in Berkeley, CA and Mark Chavez and Nance Becker of Chavez & Gertler in Mill Valley, CA were co-lead counsel; Victoria Ni and Leslie Bailey of Public Justice were co-counsel.