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Supreme Court Grounds Rabbi’s Airline Lawsuit

Rules against kvetchy customer who lost frequent flier status over complaints

Lily Wilf
April 02, 2014
(Northwest Airlines)
(Northwest Airlines)

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously against Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg of Minnesota, the Northwest Airlines customer who accused the company of unreasonably revoking his Platinum Elite frequent flier membership because he complained too much.

Rabbi Ginsberg’s story begins in 2008, when Northwest cited Ginsberg’s excessive protests and demands as grounds for terminating his membership. Outraged that Northwest was punishing him for his customer service complaints, Ginsberg charged the airline was breaking their contract with him as an effort to cut costs in anticipation of a merger with Delta Airlines.

In December, the case reached the Supreme Court. According to the Los Angeles Times, Ginsberg’s case closed today with a ruling that upheld that airlines are exempt from laws and regulations that could dictate how they deliver service, therefore permitting airlines to repeal frequent flier status from passengers as they wish.

Lily Wilf is an editorial intern at Tablet.