Thursday, September 18th19.0°C
19716
22768

Supreme Court limits lawsuits over frequent flier programs, rules against Minnesota rabbi

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a Minnesota rabbi who complained about an airline's frequent flier program is out of luck.

The justices unanimously sided with Northwest Airlines and dismissed a lawsuit from Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg that alleged he was stripped of his top-level frequent flier status because he complained too much.

Ginsberg said Northwest, since absorbed by Delta Air Lines Inc., did not act in good faith when it cut him off. But the justices ruled that the federal deregulation of the airline industry in 1978 prohibits most lawsuits like the one filed by Ginsberg.

Ginsberg and his wife flew almost exclusively on Northwest, logging roughly 75 flights a year to travel across the U.S. and abroad to give lectures and take part in conferences on education and administration.

He said he flew on Northwest even when other airlines offered comparable or better flights and in 2005, reached the highest level of the WorldPerks program.

Northwest cut him off in 2008, shortly after Northwest and Delta agreed to merge. Ginsberg said the move was a cost-cutting measure designed to get rid of the high-mileage customers.

Northwest says Ginsberg complained 24 times in a 7-month period, including nine instances of luggage that turned up late on airport baggage carousels. Northwest said that before it took action, it awarded Ginsberg $1,925 in travel credit vouchers, 78,500 bonus miles, a voucher for his son and $491 in cash reimbursements.

The airline pointed to a provision of the mileage program's terms that gives Northwest the right to cancel members' accounts for abuse.

Writing for the court, Justice Samuel Alito said the frequent flier program is clearly connected to the airline's prices, routes or services, which are covered under the Airline Deregulation Act.

A federal trial judge cited earlier Supreme Court cases involving claims against frequent flier programs in dismissing Ginsberg's lawsuit, including his claim that Northwest did not live up to the terms of the contract. The judge said the contract gives the airlines the right to kick someone out of the mileage program at its "sole judgment."

But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said part of the suit could go forward involving whether Ginsberg and others can sue under state laws that require parties to a contract to act in good faith.

The case is Northwest vs. Ginsberg, 12-462.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

22689


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15465.54+6.66
S&P CDNX965.79-6.72
DJIA17265.99109.14
Nasdaq4593.426+31.237
S&P 5002011.36+9.79
CDN Dollar0.9129-0.0014
Gold1226.90+0.10
Oil93.04-0.03
Lumber349.00+1.00
Natural Gas3.966-0.009

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.16-0.005
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.32+0.07
Cantex0.060.00
Anavex Life Sciences0.2261-0.01
Metalex Ventures0.060.00
Russel Metals37.01+0.64
Copper Mountain Mining2.68-0.05
Colorado Resources0.175+0.005
ReliaBrand Inc0.024-0.003
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.02-0.005
Mission Ready Services0.30+0.01

 



23438

FEATURED Property
16643082193 Tomat Avenue
4 bedrooms 3 baths
$299,900
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Executors and their duties

There will be a time when you will need to decide who you should appoint as executor of your Will. As well, there may be a time when you will be asked by someone to act as the executor of his or her W...


Power-save your way to a down payment

Part 1 of 2 Photo: Thinkstock.com1. Move in with your parents or in-laws Explain that you're thinking strategically in moving back home. The quickest way to get into the housing market is to ma...


Price Guarantees

Article written by Linda Bustos Though I’d never recommend “lowest prices” as a unique selling proposition, I notice many retailers use a Price Match Guarantee or even a 110% Guara...

_








Member of BC Press Council


23096