Justices Could Ground Frequent Flyer's Suit

, The National Law Journal


Frequent flyers may experience the occasional bump from a full flight, but what do they do if they get bumped out of their frequent-flyer program? Well, they end up in the U.S. Supreme Court, of course!

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What's being said

  • Retired Attorney and Professor of Law & Ethics

    If it?s true, as the article says, that Ginsberg was signing up for full flights intentionally so he would get ?bumped? (and thus, be able to demand a free ticket), then he was not acting in good faith. The vast majority of those who had the frequent flier status (myself included) were aware of what might happen if the flight was overbooked (some people would have to be bumped, at which point the bumped person can demand a free ticket on another flight) but that was meant to compensate people to whom the airline sold tickets without realizing that the flight had been oversold. We didn?t intentionally sign up for full flights just to try to ?work? the system. That?s just not an ethical thing for a person to do. He?s accusing the airlines of acting in bad faith, but what the heck was he doing? In a different article, it was alleged that he made 24 complaints in one 8 month period alone (he filed many more complaints over time); other Northwest frequent fliers mentioned how they might have one complaint per year, if that (I had the same experience). That?s because we weren?t trying to work a scam and get free flights. If everyone did what he was doing, the airline would rapidly become insolvent. It?s not reasonable to expect them to do that.

    I hope he loses this appeal. It?s behavior like his that gives all Jews a bad name. The Talmud says that in dealings with gentiles, a Jew must be ten times more scrupulous, even, than in one?s dealings with a fellow Jew (and these dealings must also be ethical). That?s what the Jewish religion teaches. This former rabbi should know this as well as me.

    Ginsberg?s bad behavior takes on a greater significance than just some guy trying to scam an airlines. You should read the comments to the local (Minnesota) new articles, posted by Minnesota Lutherans: ?Typical Jew? (i.e., trying to scam someone for financial advantage). I can?t even begin to describe how badly it hurts to read comments like that. Jews are a very small minority in Minnesota, and we all suffer when one Jew behaves this badly. Someone with rabbinical training should know better. Of course, knowing this former rabbi?s track record for ethics and morality, his current conduct really doesn't surprise me. The rest of us pay for our frequent flights fair and square. I cringe when someone like Ginsberg creates a *shanda* (scandal or shame) for all of the decent, ethical Jews. It?s conduct like his that inflames stereotypes. He should think long and hard about how his dishonest, self-serving, scandalous behavior tends to harm the other Jews in this community, and around the world.

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