Coupon Administration Experts at Chicago Clearing to Administer Korean Air Passenger Antitrust Litigation

by Jennifer Kwon

Chicago Clearing Corporation (CCC) will soon begin administering a major settlement in the airline industry, Korean Air Passenger Antitrust Litigation.

As of December 2, 2013, when the Court gave a final approval, Korean Air will pay $39 million in cash and additional $26 million in travel vouchers (also called, coupons) to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging that it had engaged in a price-fixing scheme. Asiana Airlines previously agreed to pay $21 million in cash and coupons.

But for some potential claimants, this may not feel like a typical happy ending, justice-served fairy tale.

Shortly after the court was dismissed, more than a dozen passengers voiced their dissatisfaction. One of their biggest complaints was the notoriously low redemption rate for vouchers.

Putative class member Said Nedlouf argued that many class members would most likely throw away the coupons after realizing the hassle of trying to sell them.

“Common sense suggests that a large number of class members will likely discard the coupon in disgust after realizing that going to the trouble of selling the coupon is just not worth it,” he told the news service Law360.

This is exactly why CCC has been hired to be the coupon administrator, voucher consultant, and market maker for the Korean Air Passenger Antitrust Litigation.

“While we understand the objectors’ concerns, we are quite confident we can alleviate their worries and create a fair market for the coupons,” said James Tharin, founder and owner of CCC.

As the voucher consultant, CCC proposes the rules and means of redemption and transfer for the Korean Air coupon. Then as the coupon administrator, it facilitates the redemption of coupons. CCC will staff, train, and manage a call center to respond to inquiries regarding coupons or the secondary market. In addition, it plans to create a coupon database that is available 24/7 online.

CCC anticipates the creation of a series of two-sided auctions where a large amount of coupons can be sold and bought at one price. It is also hoping to keep a transparent book displaying the best bids and offers in the marketplace where a buyer and seller can transact business.

Founded in 1992 by Mr. Tharin, CCC has over twenty years of proven success in developing, administering and creating secondary markets in class action coupon settlements. It has created 13 unique coupon markets and recovered more than $200 million dollars for harmed class members.

This article was written during my internship at Chicago Clearing Corporation (CCC) in 2015.