Modern Day David and Goliath

December 26, 2013

We’re so accustomed to being passive when we run up against a force that is stronger than us that we cheer the little guy who takes on an airline.

It seems that an airline dumped a rabbi from its frequent flier club for complaining too much. This wasn’t just someone who flew several times a month; this was someone who was a valued customer because he attained Platinum Elite status for flying 75,000 miles a year.

The airline claimed that the rabbi complained about service 24 times over eight months and that’s why they took away his miles, rewards, and status. He said that they asked for his feedback and so he gave it.

He typically got perks like frequent flier miles and vouchers when he called, but not because he sought them, as the airline has claimed. He said he would call the airline and say, “This is my experience yesterday, and you asked for feedback, I’m giving it to you.”

Usually before he was finished telling about his experience, they would interrupt him and say, “Well, as a gesture of goodwill, we’re going to issue you either a couple thousand extra miles, or a voucher for some future travel.”

The rabbi sued the airline for breach of contract. He said his suit is not about money; it’s about courtesy. He said he wasn’t complaining about too much salt on the peanuts, he was complaining about sitting on the tarmac for a few hours and no one giving information about why they were being delayed. He said that this shows a lack of decency, courtesy.

The rabbi’s attorney argued that the airline did not act in good faith and said, “What’s at stake for the average traveler is whether airlines have to perform their contracts in good faith, according to the reasonable expectations of the parties,”

Like a modern day David and Goliath, the rabbi got his hearing before the Supreme Court and said, “This was not a money thing; this was fighting for the rights of common citizens.”

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