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Supreme Court Hears Minnesota Rabbi’s Frequent Flier Case

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of a Minnesota rabbi who claimed he was cut from an airline’s frequent flier program for earning too many miles.

Oral arguments in the case of Rabbi Binyomin Ginsberg were heard on Tuesday.

Ginsberg was one of Northwest Airlines’ top fliers when he was cut from its program in 2008. Northwest has since been absorbed by Delta.

The rabbi, who acquired his frequent flier miles by consulting with educational organizations, says the airline was targeting top miles earners. Northwest counters that Ginsberg complained too frequently — 24 times in a seven-month period.

The case hinges on whether federal regulatory discretion extends to routine lawsuits such as this one.

Ginsberg says Northwest’s actions were a breach of contract. Lawyers for the airline, backed by the Obama administration, say handing Ginsberg a victory could open the door to chaotic state-to-state differences on what is and is not litigable.

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