BA Court defeat on return ticket case

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  • SimonS1
    Participant

    Interesting article. Court found BA could not cancel return ticket where a previous leg was not flown.

    I always found this slightly thin ice, makes no difference if the seat is empty or not if the ticket is paid.

    https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/holidays/article-8735999/amp/I-took-BA-court-cancelled-return-ticket-without-warning.html

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    I read the article to say BA lost the case because it DID NOT inform the passenger that her ticket had been cancelled, not because BA cancelled the flight.

    “Giving his judgment last Tuesday, Judge Luthfur Rahman said the clause itself was fair for commercial reasons.

    It allowed BA to cancel flights at its discretion. However, Pam’s third flight was automatically cancelled by the airline’s computer system shortly after she failed to check-in.

    The judge said this was unfair because BA did not contact her to say it had cancelled her flight.”

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    christopheL
    Participant

    It is a pity that the article does not give much information on the topic.
    No information at all on the price of the G&T that Pam and her husband were delighted to drink on the private beach before going to dinner at the restaurant by the pool for a total of £248.76 including lobster as a starter and 2 bottles of South African wine on the evening when they had to pay an extra £400.92 (worth £445.92) for an extra night in a suite with sea view (unfortunately the sky was very cloudy which allowed the £45 discount) and a separate bathroom including outside rain shower and bathtub before going to the airport in a private car whose price was only £25 for a 35 minutes drive including air conditioning, a free bottle of water and a driver wearing a suit and a cap on his head.(No breakfast needed as it was not included in the price of the room and the £248,76 dinner was both hearty and good value for money).
    English press is not what it used to be 🙁

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    anyonebutba
    Participant

    I read the article to say BA lost the case because it DID NOT inform the passenger that her ticket had been cancelled, not because BA cancelled the flight.

    “Giving his judgment last Tuesday, Judge Luthfur Rahman said the clause itself was fair for commercial reasons.

    It allowed BA to cancel flights at its discretion. However, Pam’s third flight was automatically cancelled by the airline’s computer system shortly after she failed to check-in.

    The judge said this was unfair because BA did not contact her to say it had cancelled her flight.”

    the process of cancelling flights in the event of no show is an IATA clause that all airlines excluding low cost adhere too, its very standard industry practice to cancel the return if the outbound etc isn’t flown. its in the terms and conditions of booking if people bother to read them 🙂


    SimonS1
    Participant

    Just because something is in the T&Cs doesn’t make it legal.

    I believe there have been several European countries where it has been successfully challenged, also there was a case against Iberia a couple of years back in UK courts.


    anyonebutba
    Participant

    Just because something is in the T&Cs doesn’t make it legal.

    I believe there have been several European countries where it has been successfully challenged, also there was a case against Iberia a couple of years back in UK courts.

    NONE THE LESS, the IATA regulations stipulate that tickets must be used in the order they were issued or they have no value, unless a fully refundable ticket, the only exception to this rule is when the outbound flight is cancelled, then the return will remain in place. otherwise this would be open to all sorts of abuse as return tickets are often cheaper than one ways, every airline uses this system unless the flights are sold as 2 one ways like easyjet, ryanair etc.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    otherwise this would be open to all sorts of abuse as return tickets are often cheaper than one ways

    … and ???

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    anyonebutba
    Participant

    otherwise this would be open to all sorts of abuse as return tickets are often cheaper than one ways

    … and ???

    and? what a senseless reply. its protection of revenue, plain and simple 🙂


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Isn’t that how the mafia operate, charge double and “we will make life comfortable and protect your revenue”?

    If the airlines decide to price a return flight cheaper than a single…. good on them… they are in the main selling to consumers, not lawyers, who in all likelihood would not know who IATA even are….

    Selling an airline ticket should not be made to feel as is it’s a complex tender document, with pages of T & C’s in print too small to read or in a language that a passenger may not understand.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    Just because something is in the T&Cs doesn’t make it legal.

    I believe there have been several European countries where it has been successfully challenged, also there was a case against Iberia a couple of years back in UK courts.

    NONE THE LESS, the IATA regulations stipulate that tickets must be used in the order they were issued or they have no value, unless a fully refundable ticket, the only exception to this rule is when the outbound flight is cancelled, then the return will remain in place. otherwise this would be open to all sorts of abuse as return tickets are often cheaper than one ways, every airline uses this system unless the flights are sold as 2 one ways like easyjet, ryanair etc.

    Good for IATA. That doesn’t mean it is a) legal and b) immune from legal challenge. IATA is a trade body not a lawmaker.

    5 users thanked author for this post.

    AllOverTheGaff
    Participant

    Isn’t that how the mafia operate, charge double and “we will make life comfortable and protect your revenue”?

    If the airlines decide to price a return flight cheaper than a single…. good on them… they are in the main selling to consumers, not lawyers, who in all likelihood would not know who IATA even are….

    Selling an airline ticket should not be made to feel as is it’s a complex tender document, with pages of T & C’s in print too small to read or in a language that a passenger may not understand.

    Yes, have to agree entirely with this. For far too long the airlines have had it all their own way, their T&C’s border on the ludicrous in some situations and it matters not a jot what status you have with them, they will always hide behind the most ludicrous of T&C’s to the point of losing custom.

    It has always baffled me how they get away with such shady practices, I guess having a captive market is indeed their license to offer sub-standard service and offer little-to-no flexibility when circumstances prevail which mean you; miss your flight, they cancel a flight, they are late taking-off and you miss your connection, asking for an earlier flight if your connection is ahead of time, changing route etc etc etc.

    I’ve always thought: “well, the plane is flying anyway, it makes no odds whether I am on it or not, there is not really a cost to the airline”, but of course, we all know only too well how inflexible they can be when they choose to. A very simple solution to this ruling would be to have fares priced per leg and if I want to take the flight I do, if I don’t I don’t. Of course, this would open the airline up to proper European competition which is the real reason behind these “legs” needing to be flown.

    They have it all their own way, I am pleased someone took them to task – I presume airline had to pay legal costs? Article didn’t say.

    Rgds.
    AOTG.


    Cedric_Statherby
    Participant

    The root cause of all this is the over-complicated fare structure of the industry. It is absurd that a return ticket can be less than a single, and then to protect this absurdity you have to introduce a second absurdity, which is that the return leg is cancelled if the outward leg is not taken.

    The end result is Ts & Cs that are more akin in length to the contract for buying a house rather than buying a bus fare (which is in effect what an air fare resembles).

    If you buy a return ticket on a train (in the UK at least), the outward leg and return leg are two separate transactions (you may even still get two separate pieces of paper as tickets), and they are independently valid. Airlines could do this if they wanted to, and it would certainly benefit their customers. But when did any airline have that as a priority?

    Better still would be to have a standard price for each leg and the price of the overall ticket just the sum of the prices of the various legs. That really would aid transparency and ease of use for the customer … and so is of course unthinkable.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    It is absurd that a return ticket can be less than a single, and then to protect this absurdity you have to introduce a second absurdity, which is that the return leg is cancelled if the outward leg is not taken.

    Or… the outbound leg(s) could be repriced (after the flight has been taken) if the inbound leg is discarded or unused…


    Cedric_Statherby
    Participant

    Or… the outbound leg(s) could be repriced (after the flight has been taken) if the inbound leg is discarded or unused…

    Indeed Martyn, this is another absurdity, that if one buys a return ticket as cheaper than a single, and then takes the first leg, and then does not (or is unable to) take the return leg, you can face a further charge for not flying. I think the airline industry is the only transportation industry to try to charge you more for not using their services than if you used them.

    On reflection, “absurd” does not really seem up to the task of describing such activity. “Stark staring bonkers” is closer the mark …

    6 users thanked author for this post.

    SimonS1
    Participant

    Perhaps now the industry has collapsed, more airlines will become innovative with their business models and the old cosy practices sustained by the likes of IATA will start to disappear.

    Also legislation like EC261 forced the airlines to stop treating passengers like garbage in areas like cancellations and delays, so a few well timed court cases in areas connected to fares may also help.

    For some time to come there will be excess capacity and slots will no longer be at a premium for new entrants.

    The railways are also going through the same process – the franchises are dead and there is widespread discussion that this is a great time to massively simplify fare structures.

    2 users thanked author for this post.
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