When United Airlines and Continental merged (or Continental took over the much bigger United), they decided to change the benefits associated with the Million Miler program.
This didn’t go down too well with many of the United’s Million Milers that had used their services for a considerable time to receive these “lifetime” benefits after flying a minimum of one million miles with the airline. One of them took the airline to court.
The case has now received the ruling from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals that withheld the ruling that the lower court did in United’s favor.
This ruling is an interesting (Christmas) read and I have to say that personally, as a United Million Miler myself, I more agree with the dissident judge that is blasting United.
The problem is that laws are constructed by the Congress to protect the airlines and the United States Department of Transportation (usually referred just as DOT) would be the correct regulatory authority.
You have to bear in mind that all the lifetime status benefits that are granted by loyalty programs can be just taken away at their whim by less than respectable programs such as United’s MileagePlus.