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Lawsuits & Litigation

American Airlines Sues The Points Guy For Letting Customers Manage Loyalty Points in One Place

— January 21, 2022

The lawsuit alleges that The Points Guy App essentially violates the company and consumers’ privacy.

American Airlines has filed a lawsuit against The Points Guy, claiming the travel website’s loyalty points tracker constitutes an illegal violation of consumer privacy law.

According to The Verge, American Airlines is seeking a court order preventing The Points Guy from accessing or using data from A.A.’s website or mobile application.

The airline has also asked that consumers be prohibited from accessing their American Airlines account details through The Points Guy’s website or mobile application.

Beyond requesting restrictions on what data The Points Guy and its userbase can and cannot display, American Airlines also wants to prevent T.P.G. from displaying or otherwise using its logo and other trademarks.

Wooden gavel on black, reflective surface; image via, CCO.
Wooden gavel on black, reflective surface; image via, CCO.

The Verge notes that T.P.G.’s mobile application, released in September 2021, purports to “help users learn about points, miles, and loyalty programs while maximizing their earning potential, and discovering how to efficiently burn those earned points and miles to see the world.”

T.P.G.’s app, says The Verge, lets users “link” frequent flyer accounts. For American Airlines, consumers are asked to input their AAdvantage number, password, and surname into the T.P.G. application.

Once an AAdvantage account is linked to T.P.G.’s platform, users are given advice on how to maximize their loyalty points’ potential.

However, American Airlines claims that The Points Guy is, in effect, asking AAdvantage members to breach the carrier’s terms of service by granting account access to an unauthorized third party.

American claims that T.P.G.’s app allows it to “invade American’s servers, access users’ accounts, and collect and expropriate the proprietary data” in violation of AA’s terms and conditions.

The lawsuit goes on to accuse The Points Guy of violating provisions of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, along with offenses such as breach of contract, trespass, trademark infringement, and copyright infringement.

The Verge notes that The Points Guy already filed its own pre-emptive lawsuit against American Airlines after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from the company. In a press release, T.P.G. said that American was “attempting to block the media platform from providing the cost and time-saving benefits of The Points Guy App to consumers.”

“Consumers are always in control of their own data on The Points Guy App — they decide which loyalty programs and credit cards are accessible for the purpose of making their points-and-miles journey easier,” T.P.G. founder Brian Kelly told The Verge, saying his site is “choosing to fight back against American Airlines on behalf of travelers to protect their rights to access their points and miles so they can travel smarter.”

“American Airlines made clear that it believes consumers do not have the right to share their personal information with third-party apps that will help them save time and money and make their lives easier,” a T.P.G. spokesperson added. “We believe this is a consumers’ right.”

American Airlines, adds Business Insider, is seeking a permanent injunction against The Points Guys, as well as damages and legal fees.


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