Advice from the regulars

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This topic contains 34 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  capetonianm 13 Feb 2019
at 08:09
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Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 35 total)

  • SimonS1
    Participant

    The “material loss” is money. The difference in fare that should have been paid for the three sectors flown rather than the agreed fare for the 4 sectors. A fare booked from Europe is frequently cheaper than the same flight only from London, so BA could construe the actions of not using the last sector as blatant fraud, by avoiding paying the correct fare.

    I don’t see any material loss in the OP’s scenario. The passenger has paid to fly AMS to LHR to HKG: if the passenger does not take the last leg and the seat remains empty then there is no extra/material cost incurred by the airline.

    If BA thought it had grounds to take individual passengers to court (we are not talking about ADMs) then it would do so to collect the money.

    However despite a lot of huff, puff and bluster no-one on here, FT or any other forum has ever produced an example of an individual traveller being penalised. There is a reason for that.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    The “material loss” is money. The difference in fare that should have been paid for the three sectors flown rather than the agreed fare for the 4 sectors. A fare booked from Europe is frequently cheaper than the same flight only from London, so BA could construe the actions of not using the last sector as blatant fraud, by avoiding paying the correct fare.

    I don’t see any material loss in the OP’s scenario. The passenger has paid to fly AMS to LHR to HKG: if the passenger does not take the last leg and the seat remains empty then there is no extra/material cost incurred by the airline.

    If BA thought it had grounds to take individual passengers to court (we are not talking about ADMs) then it would do so to collect the money.

    However despite a lot of huff, puff and bluster no-one on here, FT or any other forum has ever produced an example of an individual traveller being penalised. There is a reason for that.

    Spot on.


    TimFitzgeraldTC
    Participant

    If booking through an agency then they will get an ADM (BA 100% audit agency bookings – they outsource to a 3rd party company who take a cut on all ADM’s raised I understand).

    I’d love for an agency to take a major airlines to court over the ADM’s for this. However the airlines will simply pull all negotiated rates / fares they have with an agency and also ability to issue any published so effectively in a blackmail position. Agencies don’t want to lose the ability book BA for example as too commercially damaging.

    If people intend to miss the last leg, I’d book direct with the carrier. It’s what I would do if it was me.

    ** I think possibly many moons ago a case was heard in an Austrian court about Lufthansa trying to charge a person who had booked directly with them a return fare and missed the return (to get a sensible one way price) for the fare difference and my memory is that Lufthansa were effectively laughed out of court by the judge as no material loss. I can’t find a link to the story (may have been 15 years ago or so) despite my best attempts to find one – so sadly can’t back this up **

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    If booking through an agency then they will get an ADM (BA 100% audit agency bookings – they outsource to a 3rd party company who take a cut on all ADM’s raised I understand).

    I’d love for an agency to take a major airlines to court over the ADM’s for this. However the airlines will simply pull all negotiated rates / fares they have with an agency and also ability to issue any published so effectively in a blackmail position. Agencies don’t want to lose the ability book BA for example as too commercially damaging.

    If people intend to miss the last leg, I’d book direct with the carrier. It’s what I would do if it was me.

    ** I think possibly many moons ago a case was heard in an Austrian court about Lufthansa trying to charge a person who had booked directly with them a return fare and missed the return (to get a sensible one way price) for the fare difference and my memory is that Lufthansa were effectively laughed out of court by the judge as no material loss. I can’t find a link to the story (may have been 15 years ago or so) despite my best attempts to find one – so sadly can’t back this up **

    Agree with the above, re agents, they’re between a rock and a hard place and there is evidence that BA sanction them.

    The sanction BA might be able to apply to a BAEC member is to shut down their account and cancel Avios – I don’t have any evidence of this being applied, but it is a possibility, however anyone who wishes to drop the last leg would need to bear this in mind as part of their risk management.

    I believe that the court case Tim mentioned was in a lower court, but did result in Lufthansa altering their proposition so that one could pay an elevated fare to use the ticket coupons in any sequence.


    Montysaurus
    Participant

    I would like to thank you all for your advice and comments – it has been very helpful.


    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    From BA’s Conditions of Carriage:

    3c) Using flight coupons in the right sequence and changes in itinerary

    3c1) …The fare you have paid is based on our tariff for the transportation shown on your ticket and forms part of your contract with us.

    3c2) … Where you change your travel without our agreement and the price for the resulting transportation you intend to undertake is greater than the price originally paid, you will be requested to pay the difference in price…

    3c3) If you want to change all or part of your transportation, you must contact us beforehand. We will work out the revised fare for your changed transportation. You will have the option of either accepting the revised fare or maintaining your original transportation.

    Now, to FDoS’s point about losses and damages, there is a distinction to be drawn between claims in contract and claims in tort. In general, damages for a tort are designed to put the innocent party in the position they would have been if no tort had occurred – THAT is where BA would need to demonstrate a loss. However, I cannot help but think that BA would claim for breach of contract – for which the damages are designed to put the innocent party in the same position they would have been if the contract had been performed. Under 3c1 and 3c2 they can say that they have a right to an increased fare – if you don’t pay it, then they claim for the difference between the fare you paid and the fare that would have applied to your travel if booked as taken. They don’t need to demonstrate that they would have suffered a loss in terms of the costs they incur in “not” taking you for the last sector, only that if you had complied with the contract (by paying the fare difference) they would have received more money.

    I haven’t done it with BA but I have several times missed the last sector on other airlines for (cough) one reason or another. I have been very careful to ensure that these regrettable circumstances that have rendered me (ahem) unable to complete the last sector have been well-spaced. So far I have not had a problem, but I do realise that if these (splutter) events do occur and I inadvertently forget to notify the airline then I am at risk – you could almost call it a calculated risk!

    Often I just took the surplus flights anyway – it’s like doing a free tier point run since the tickets are already paid for! And often I engineered my positioning flights so that it meant I had a weekend somewhere nice! But then I often positioned through Bangkok 🙂


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    ** I think possibly many moons ago a case was heard in an Austrian court about Lufthansa trying to charge a person who had booked directly with them a return fare and missed the return (to get a sensible one way price) for the fare difference and my memory is that Lufthansa were effectively laughed out of court by the judge as no material loss. I can’t find a link to the story (may have been 15 years ago or so) despite my best attempts to find one – so sadly can’t back this up **

    I’ve heard this as well, and I think there was a similar case with KLM for a passenger who used to book his tickets ex Cairo.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    3c2) … Where you change your travel without our agreement and the price for the resulting transportation you intend to undertake is greater than the price originally paid, you will be requested to pay the difference in price…

    BA have agreed to let me use tickets out of sequence on 1 occasions.

    An ex-Milan ticket to JFK and then to MCO when the positing flight to Milan was cancelled due to snow. BA initially said the Milan-LHR hadn’t been cancelled, to which I responded, but it will be – in the end, I was able to use the Milan – LHR at a later date – for no change fee

    QUESTION – are there any other situations where BA would agreed for a ticket to be used out of sequence… for no extra cost…?


    rferguson
    Participant

    I’ve dropped the last leg three times with no issue.

    No contact from BA, granted the tier points and Avios of the sectors I flew.

    I obviously did not check in any luggage. A friend of mine who had checked luggage and was doing a DUB-LAX via LHR deal asked the check in agent in LAX to only tag his bag as far as LHR on his return as ‘he had to drop something off in london’. Agent told him it wasn’t possible.


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    as ‘he had to drop something off in london’. Agent told him it wasn’t possible.

    I had this once from JFK to MXP via ZRH with Swiss. I genuinely had something to drop off in Zurich, a (empty) suitcase one of our employees parents gave me to take to her. I had a two hour stopover and she was waiting for me at Zurich.

    There was no problem and the agent put a ZRH tag on without a blink.


    rferguson
    Participant

    This article discusses ‘skiplagging’. Not exactly the same as ditching the last leg but a similar concept:

    The Truth About Skiplagged, For 98% Of Travelers…


    stevescoots
    Participant

    as ‘he had to drop something off in london’. Agent told him it wasn’t possible.

    I had this once from JFK to MXP via ZRH with Swiss. I genuinely had something to drop off in Zurich, a (empty) suitcase one of our employees parents gave me to take to her. I had a two hour stopover and she was waiting for me at Zurich.

    There was no problem and the agent put a ZRH tag on without a blink.

    when i used to bail out of the last leg I always asked at the desk at check in just to put to LHR, was never a problem


    MarcusGB
    Participant

    This has been raised many times on the forum, regarding Many Airlines.
    Alex addressed these, in The BT Magazine.

    The Airlines do clearly state, unused portions of your flight ticket may result in a recalculation.
    The answer is that they can, and will, and have the legal right to do so, in Retrospect, as u are changing your itinerary and not taking the last / 4th sector, which does carry a larger ticket price.

    So yes, they do have the right to do so, and under Contract, no legal points in your favour. Many point this out in their conditions.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    MarcusGB – if it is so black and white, how come the airlines don’t pursue the consumer and only seem to issue ADMs to agents?


    SimonS1
    Participant

    This has been raised many times on the forum, regarding Many Airlines.

    Alex addressed these, in The BT Magazine.

    The Airlines do clearly state, unused portions of your flight ticket may result in a recalculation.

    The answer is that they can, and will, and have the legal right to do so, in Retrospect, as u are changing your itinerary and not taking the last / 4th sector, which does carry a larger ticket price.

    So yes, they do have the right to do so, and under Contract, no legal points in your favour. Many point this out in their conditions.

    The fact that it is in an airline contract is of no relevance whatsoever. There are things like the Unfair Contract Terms Act, or the Consumer Rights Act, which have the capability to trump anything the airlines make up.

    If it was so clear cut then airlines would have invested in teams of people to chase down the tens of thousands (or more) of individuals who do this every year. They don’t. Unless you are to be the first person to share some examples of this happening.

    Of course in the real world the reason airlines don’t chase it is because when push comes to shove they could not demonstrate in a court of law that they had suffered any material loss due to the seat flying empty rather than with your backside in it. The fact that fares are designed/constructed this way is entirely the airline’s choice.

    The position with individuals is very different to travel agents who may get an ADM. In that case it is a form of moral blackmail…..the travel agent pays up (and charges the client) because they know otherwise the airline could withdraw their ticketing agency. Completely different scenario.

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