Update: Looking through the actual decision now and indeed it does say,
Although respondent and amici claim there have been fundamental changes in the way that frequent flyer miles are earned since Wolens was decided, that does not matter here where respondent did not assert that he earned miles from any activity but taking flights or that he attempted to redeem miles for anything but tickets and upgrades.
So it sounds like the Supreme court would accept another case against the airlines where the miles in question were earned from non-flight activity or would be used for non-flight redemptions.
And that’s a very good thing.
Via the Chicago Tribune, the Supreme Court has rules in favor of Delta and tossed out Rabbi Ginsberg’s lawsuit against them for closing his mileage account for complaining too much.
In short, the deregulation act places the airlines above the courts jurisdiction and they can do anything they want.
It’s a shame that this is the case that went to court. It would have been far more interesting to see a case go to court where an account was closed where all of the miles were earned from credit card spend instead of miles. After all, the deregulation act may have given airlines full power over price, route or service, but does it really give them control over something that was not earned via flying and can be redeemed for things other than flights?
I’m no legal expert, but I’m not sure just how strong this precedent is. The airlines may have won this one, but I don’t think we’ve seen the end of mileage suits in court.