South-Western Legal Studies in Business

States May Not Regulate Interstate Airlines

Court held that Congress preempted state regulation of airlines, including regulation of deceptive advertising, by the Airline Deregulation Act. Since Congress barred state control, attempts by a state to regulate airline activity violates the Commerce Clause.

Topic Constitutional Law
Key Words

Commerce Clause; Preemption; Advertising Regulation

C A S E   S U M M A R Y

A consumer filed a complaint against American Airlines (AA) with the Puerto Rico Department of Consumer Affairs (Departamento de Asuntos del Consumidor or DACO) claiming deceptive advertising by the airline. AA then sought a declaratory judgment against DACO, contending that the Airline Deregulation Act preempts DACO from enforcing its deceptive advertisement laws and regulations against American and other airlines that operate in interstate commerce.


Motion granted. The Airline Deregulation Act expressly preempts state regulation of price, route, or service of an air carrier. Hence, DACO may not enforce its deceptive advertising laws and regulations against airlines operating in interstate commerce. Enforcement of DACO rules would burden interstate commerce in violation of the commerce clause.


De Jesus v. American Airlines, Inc., ---F.Supp.2d--- (2008 WL 4838117, D. Puerto Rico, 2008)

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