Carrier Had Refused to Transport "Big Five" Trophies

Plaintiffs, an individual and entities involved in hunting, conservation and tourism, brought an action Delta Air Lines, Inc. ("Delta") arising from the airline's decision to stop transporting trophies of legally-hunted lions, leopards, elephants, rhinoceroses and buffalo ("Big Five" trophies).  The plaintiffs asserted that Delta's decision violates US federal common law, statutes and FAA regulations, and amounts to tortious interference with business relations.  The Court granted Delta's motion to dismiss.  The Court found no violation of federal common law because, although a common carrier cannot discriminate as to the individuals for whom it carries cargo, it "may discriminate in what it chooses to carry."  The Court further held that Delta's refusal to transport Big Five trophies was related to its services and, therefore, the plaintiffs' state law claim for tortious interference with business relations was preempted by the Airline Deregulation Act.  Finally, the Court held that no private right of action existed under 49 U.S.C. 41310(a), a statute prohibiting air carriers from "subject[ing] a person, place, port or type of traffic in foreign air transportation to unreasonable discrimination", and that no private right of action existed to invalidate an air carrier's certificate of public convenience and necessity for noncompliance with the certificate's terms.  Conservation Force v. Delta Air Lines, Inc., 2016 WL 3166279 (N.D. Tex. June 6, 2016).