A St. Louis Park rabbi kicked out of Northwest Airline’s WorldPerks program had his case heard before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg, 52, was barred from the airline's frequent flier program in 2008 because Northwest claimed he complained too much about late luggage and tarmac delays and booked too many flights on overbooked flights, hoping to get bumped.
“I just wanted my miles back,” he said. “What would you do if
someone stuck their hand in your pocket and took your wallet? You’d ask
for it back.”
Ginsberg earned the sympathy—or, maybe, sarcasm—of Justice Antonin Scalia.
“Wow, somebody’s really been given a raw deal,” Scalia said during oral arguments.
But Ginsberg's case is based on Minnesota standards of good faith in contracts, and most justices (including Scalia) signaled that siding with Ginsberg could go against the 1978 Airline Deregulation Act, which prevents individual states from making rules on air travel.
“I don’t want to have to sort these out state by state,” Scalia said.