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Continental Cheats Frequent Fliers, Class Says

CLEVELAND (CN) - A federal class action challenges Continental Airlines' alleged practice of charging frequent fliers $75 for booking their flights within three weeks of travel and forcing them to use 50,000 frequent-flier miles for flights that should be covered by 25,000 miles.

Lead plaintiff David Simon says he earned more than 25,000 miles through Continental's frequent-flier program, but was unable to use them to buy a non-stop flight from Los Angeles to Cleveland.

Continental allegedly told him that the flights he wanted were available for 50,000 miles, even though it wasn't peak travel season and there were several empty seats on those flights. He was also charged $75 for booking within three weeks of travel, a fee the airline had no authority to impose, the lawsuit claims.

Simon seeks class certification and demands actual and punitive damages. He is represented by Joel Joseph of Beverly Hills, Calif.

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