American Airlines sued for seizure of cardholders’ frequent flyer miles

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By Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) – American Airlines was sued in a class-action lawsuit on Monday by two customers who said the carrier took away 1.1 million frequent flyer miles after they doubled down on their credit cards offering bonus miles .

Ari and Shanna Nachison said American falsely accused them of fraud for opening multiple AAdvantage accounts, with cards issued under co-branding deals with Citibank and Barclays.

Residents of Los Gatos, Calif., said that while some card applications prevented multiple mileage bonuses over a 48-month period, theirs did not, and it remained unclear why American closed its accounts at the start of 2020.

Both said the Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier cited violations “related to the accumulation of ineligible miles and benefits; by fraud, misrepresentation and/or abuse of the AAdvantage program” in emails announcing terminations.

Ari Nachison reported losing 564,463 miles, while Shanna Nachison reported losing 550,664 miles.

The Nachisons said they were exempt from the applicable statute of limitations because American’s “boilerplate” emails did not mention specific violations or credit cards at issue, delaying them in seeking remedies. legal.

American did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Lawyers for the plaintiffs did not immediately respond to similar requests.

The lawsuit filed in federal court in San Jose, California, seeks damages from individuals whose AAdvantage accounts were terminated based on alleged fraud in obtaining Citi-AAdvantage and Barclays credit cards -AAdvantage.

Some airlines, including American, have in recent years increased spending and mileage requirements for frequent travelers, who use their status to get tickets, better seats, early boarding and other perks.

Earlier this month, American said some flight benefits would be reserved for AAdvantage members, including free same-day waiting to upgrade to earlier U.S. flights.

The case is Nachison et al v. American Airlines Inc, United States District Court, Northern District of California, No. 24-00530.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York)

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