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I live in London but frequently fly out of Brussels transcontinental using BA. The fares are frequently less expensive. I have just been told that if I do not use the last sector from London to Brussels [which I have paid for] then BA reserves the right to charge more retrospectively.
Has this happened to anybody and what does the EU law say on the subject?
BA has a department called “Revenue Management” which can sometimes revue accounts on which the final sector is not being used. This activity usually only attracts attention if it is a regular occurence.
From time to time they will actually contact people who regularly fail to use the final sector of exEU flights. Mainly scare tactics IMHO.
Though not using the final sector is technically against the fare rules of the ticket you bought, it would be very hard, and expensive, for BA to enforce this in a court, particularly when you take into account EU Single Market legislation.
The issue really revolves around your intention to use the ticket – if you can prove your plans changed due to other commitments (as is totally normal in a business context) then I really can’t see how this practice could be challenged.
Differentiated pricing exists as it is normally less attractive for people to fly indirectly than directly to their destination, and this is a way for BA to compete against incumbent national carriers, which it does very successfully coupled with the fully flat bed in Business Class, which for the most part the other European majors have not embraced.
Ultimately, BAEC could sanction you by freezing your BAEC account, but I have *never* heard of this happening.
Some stories have appeared on Flyertalk about Revenue Management/Audit intervention in the past, but they are believed to have lacked credulity and may have been “planted” to scare people off.
Ultimately, as you yourself well know, BA would not have got your business on those flights had you not been able to take advantage of reduced exEU fares, so my personal view is that these fares are a win/win situation.
It is, however, wise to try and use the final sectors where possible to avoid undue attention, and further it is good manners to book any final sector you do not plan to use on a midday/midweek service to reduce the financial impact on BA by ensuring they can sell higher yielding peak time services.