No matter what happens, how badly American AAdvantage screws up, you really can’t sue them. That’s because under Northwest v. Ginsberg you can only sue a frequent flyer program for actually violating its own terms and conditions. American’s terms even explicitly state,
these Terms and Conditions disclaim any duty of good faith and fair dealing as well as any implied contractual terms or obligations.
So there you have it. They have no liability for a breach of any duty of good faith and fair dealing. With a bit of schadenfreude, then, I note that American Airlines lost its $2 million lawsuit against Century Link because of the latter’s terms and conditions disclaiming liability for anything other than willful misconduct. (HT: Scott K.)
Here are the 31 greatest moments of irony. American’s lawsuit is number 32.
Because Century Link’s predecessor Qwest Communications had inaccurate maps, in 2009 they signed off on construction digging through cable in a parking lot beside the US Airways data center in Tempe. US Airways was down for four hours. But because the Qwest terms and conditions disclaimed liability, courts have held them responsible only for the $586 in services that weren’t provided during the outage.
American Airlines was arguing a company “cannot legally limit its own liability” under Arizona law. Which is pretty funny when you think about it.