“The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away”, United States District Judge Harry Leinenweber reportedly said as he quoted Job from the Bible at the start of issuing his decision earlier today to dismiss a lawsuit which claimed that United Airlines removed some of the benefits it promised to bestow upon members who earned and achieved million miler status in the MileagePlus frequent flier loyalty program, thereby breaching its contract with them.
George Lagen — the plaintiff who is a million miler member of the United Airlines MileagePlus frequent flier loyalty program — was denied a motion for summary judgment after Leinenweber ruled that Lagen “has not produced any evidence that United made him (and other putative class members) an offer to participate in a separate MillionMile Flyer program that was separate and apart from the MileagePlus program.”
To add insult to injury, the judgment also demands that Lagen pay costs incurred by United Airlines.
Lagen first filed his lawsuit back in May of 2012 in the Eastern Division of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, claiming that United Airlines removed some of the benefits it promised to bestow upon members who earned and achieved million miler status in the MileagePlus frequent flier loyalty program, thereby breaching its contract with them.
Almost a year ago, Leinenweber refused the request of United Continental Holdings Incorporated — the parent company of United Airlines, which cited that the litigant had no legal standing on which to sue based upon its right to modify the MileagePlus frequent flier loyalty program at any time — to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that the contract United Airlines had with Million Miler members supposedly differed from the contract with other members of the MileagePlus frequent flier loyalty program.
Meanwhile, FlyerTalk members continue to debate this case — as well as portend the future of the members of frequent flier loyalty programs who have earned million miler lifetime elite level status.
With regard to the assertion by Leinenweber that Lagen has not produced any evidence, FlyerTalk member LASUA1K disagrees, stating that we should “expect UA to make changes in the future. This judgement is unfair, the plaintiff had plenty proof.”
Do you agree? Should FlyerTalk members think twice before purposely venturing to achieve million miler status on any airline?
What do you think?