Jersey City, NJ: United Airlines is facing a potential deceptive business practices class action lawsuit filed by two Jersey City residents who allege the airline uses an algorithm that modifies the number of miles needed for an award, depending on the number of frequent flyer miles the person has.
The federal lawsuit was filed by Robert Gordon and Melissa Chan who claim United Airlines attempted to charge each of them different amounts of miles for the same hotel room last year when they were booking a trip together. Both are members of United' MileagePlus rewards program, the lawsuit states.
According to the lawsuit, in August 2012, Gordon tried to use his miles to book a three-night stay at a hotel in Japan. Using United' website, he was informed it would cost him 40,750 mile, which exceed the amount of points he had in his account, but was fewer than 41,733 miles in Chan' MileagePlus account.
According to the lawsuit, Chan subsequently decided to book the same room for same dates using her miles instead. However, when she tried to do so only several minutes later, United' website required her to use 44,500 miles, or 3,750 miles more than what it attempted to charge Gordon. To book the hotel room, Chan had to pay $26.10 to buy the additional miles that United charged her.
The lawsuit states that Gordon then called United, but was told the airline uses an algorithm that modifies the number miles needed for an award, depending on the number of miles the person has. They claim United was deceptive in not disclosing this alleged practice.