In a 28-page civil suit filed in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, flyers Ari and Shanna Nachison are seeking penalties from the Fort Worth-based airline.
Lawsuit Claims AAdvantage Accounts Closed Over Credit Card Applications
Seeking to create a class action against American, the two flyers claim their AAdvantage accounts were closed after they opened multiple credit card accounts. According to their account, the actions were not prohibited by the airlines or credit card partners Barclays or Citi.
The claim states that between November 2017 and December 2019, the two applied for multiple credit cards from both banks. Each card came with a welcome bonus typically between $2,000 and $5,000 to earn a specific amount of miles – somewhere between 30,000 and 100,000 AAdvantage miles each.
By February 2020, both flyers say they received notifications from American that their accounts would be closed for program violations “related to the accrual of ineligible miles and benefits; through fraud, misrepresentation and/or abuse of the AAdvantage Program.” They claim that the letter did not explicitly state their accounts were closed due to fraud or opening multiple credit card accounts. Even after the AAdvantage accounts were closed, the two say their credit cards were still active and accessible, even though they would no longer earn miles.
As a result, the two say they lost a combined total of 1 million AAdvantage miles. Ari Nachison claims a loss of 564,463 miles, while Shanna claims 550,664 lost miles.
“Because no relevant restrictions existed for existing AAdvantage members to enroll and open a new Citi-AAdvantage credit card—and, thus, to obtain the promotional bonus miles on their existing AAdvantage account—some customers took advantage of this promotion and opened multiple Citi-AAdvantage credit cards,” the lawsuit reads. “AA’s decision to terminate AAdvantage accounts entirely was improper and denied AAdvantage members the benefits they had accrued through previous purchases. It is unclear precisely why AA decided to terminate AAdvantage accounts—but it is clear that doing so was improper.”
Prior to the lawsuit, the two claim they tried to get resolution through both the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Their lawsuit states while they did not get a resolution from their Transportation Department complaints, the complaints to the bank through the CFPB deferred the issue to American Airlines.
The lawsuit seeks damages on allegations that American breached their contract by closing the accounts, and that the airline was unjustly enriched by closing the accounts after the two opened multiple credit card accounts.
Neither American nor Barclays and Citi have publicly commented on the case. The case is pending a response from American before it can be heard in court. A judge has been assigned, but no actions have been taken on the case.
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Source: frugal travel guy