Requesting a Legal view (not advice)

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  FDOS_UK 21 Jul 2017
at 17:31
.

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)

  • FDOS_UK
    Participant

    I’m just wondering if the lawyers on the forum would be able to pass a view on this situation (for interest, not in any way as advice).

    Pax books TATL airline ticket at 1 year before operating date

    – class of travel is premium eco in 2 class aircraft (W, Y)
    – the difference between cabins is 2-3-2, 2-4-2 and significantly greater pitch in W
    – 11 months before departure, airline sub contracts to reputable airline, however with 1 class service (Y)

    Pax contacts airline, airline view is this is not a major change and compensation will be paid, if downgraded (EC261).

    It seems to me that downgrade compensation is not intended for such a circumstance, in that it deals with issues ‘on the day’, as opposed to at -11 months.

    Could this type of stance be interpreted as anticipatory breach of contract by the airline?


    capetonianm
    Participant

    Brief reply. EU261 not applicable where change is notified more than 14 days before departure.
    You should be eligible for a full refund on the ticket, or the difference between the class booked and that flown.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    capetonianm

    1 – EC261 – no, you are wrong, the notice period given is relevant for cancellations; EC261 compensation for downgrades is not due until the actual downgrade happens and there are no extraordinary circumstances relating to it – thus my comment about it not being intended for being a remedy for this circumstance, it is about contract law and potentially anticipatory breach, which is why I asked for lawyer’s views

    2 – the airline refuses to give a refund (unreasonable IMHO)

    3 – there is a EC261 formula for calculating the refund due from downgrades (it is not the class booked and flown, it is based on a % of the ticket price for the segment, with an adjustment for taxes)


    SimonS1
    Participant

    I can’t see section 10 on downgrading has any time attached, it just deals with what happens if the passenger is placed in a lower cabin.

    That is something that cannot be known until the day. Who knows whether further changes will be made in the intervening period. Until then I’m not sure what there is to say.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    SimonS1

    EC261 is not relevant to this situation. Any downgrade compensation would only be due after the downgrade occured (i.e. sector flown), which is of no use if the pax wishes to travel in the booked class, 11 months before the flight.

    My immediate reaction is that the airline should cancel the ticket for a full refund, if they do not intend to honour the class of travel they sold.

    If they do not agree to this, then the remedy would seem to be to MCOL the fare paid and also any additional costs of seeking an alternative ticket due to the anticipatory breach by the airline announcing that it intends to operate the flight with a sub-contractor and aircraft that offers only a lower class of travel.

    Thus my request for a lawyer’s view to point out any obvious errors in my logic (not to give advice on any potential action).


    SimonS1
    Participant

    EC261is relevant, it just isn’t relevant until the day of the flight.

    I would have thought the fair thing to do would be to give the passenger the option to cancel. Some airlines do this automatically – I believe when BA outsources to (e.g.) Jota or Qatar then pax are given the choice to move to another BA operated flight. However whether there are any legal grounds I couldn’t say.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    EC261is relevant, it just isn’t relevant until the day of the flight.

    I would have thought the fair thing to do would be to give the passenger the option to cancel. Some airlines do this automatically – I believe when BA outsources to (e.g.) Jota or Qatar then pax are given the choice to move to another BA operated flight. However whether there are any legal grounds I couldn’t say.

    Simon, I mean that EC261 is not relevant to this case, as it will not get that far.

    The outcome will either be (a) refund from the airline, (b) chargeback and/or (c) MCOL

    The Consumer Protection Act is a powerful remedy, if necessary.

    Like you, I’m surprised that the airline has tried a fait accompli downgrade, but presumably there are enough sheeple who will go along with it, since they don’t understand their rights or don’t wish to expose themselves to conflict.

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