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LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 813
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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My wife and purchased one-way Club World flights from Tampa

Resolved Question:

My wife and purchased one-way Club World flights from Tampa to London. It has transpired that the carrier BA was aware that there due to operational difficulties there were not sufficient Club World seats to meet the number purchased. Rather than advise my wife and I in advance, which would have enabled us to make alternative arrangements, they withdrew on-line check in facilities and advised us that seats would be allocated when we checked in. Only when we reported to the check in desk were we advised that Club World seats were not available and we were to be downgraded to Economy.

Regulation (EC) no 261/2004 Article 10 sub-clause 2 (c) relates to the upgrading and downgrading class of seats for flights in excess of 1500 kilometres. It states that if an operating air carrier places a passenger in a class lower than that for which the ticket was purchased, it shall within seven days, by the means provided for in Article 7(3), reimburse 75% of the price of the ticket [ Note: it does not say the price paid for the ticket]

My wife and I purchased the tickets in using Airmiles and only paid for taxes. The question arises as what compensation should we receive? Seems to me we are entitled to receive 75% of the price of a Club World ticket. I have checked BA’s web-site and the price of a Club World ticket for our flight was around £4600.00 - Do you agree that my wife and I are both entitled to compensation of 75% of £4600?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 3 years ago.

LondonlawyerJ :

I am a solicitor with over 15 years experience. I will try to help you with this.

LondonlawyerJ :

Would I be right in thinking that the airline are arguing that as you only used airmiles to purchase the ticket you are entitled to a lesser refund?

Customer:

I have not yet received a response from the airline but anticipate they will seek to reduce the refund.

LondonlawyerJ :

I think that based on what you have said you have an argument. But, this is a breach of contract matter and it will depend on the terms of the contract. You need to check the terms and conditions which will be available on the BA website to see if this particular situation is covered. In the absence of anything specific in those terms I think it is also arguable that, bearing in mind that prices vary from time to time for Airline tickets there is no fixed price fro airline tickets and the price of the ticket is what you paid for the ticket. In terms of contract law the price is what you pay not the advertised price. I think if it came to a legal argument that BA could legitimately say that the price of the tickets was the airmiles used and decide to refund you in airmiles instead.

LondonlawyerJ :

If you were to threaten and then issue proceedings in the small claims court you would be likely to fail. However that does not mean it is not worth trying. I doubt it would be possible to argue that there was suffering and inconvenience experienced such as to justify the level of money suggested in your question (most District Judges I suspect do not fly club class very often and are unlikely to be very sympathetic) so the correct method for calculating compensation is to re-imburse you the 75% of your ticket price whic brings us back to the points made above.

LondonlawyerJ :

In short it is with a try but it may well be that yu get less than you are hoping for.

LondonlawyerJ :

I know this is not the answer you were hoping for but I have a duty to give the correct answer. I would be grateful if you could take the time to rate the service I have given you.

Customer:

The EC Regulations were in enacted because airlines, for example, did not adequately compensate passengers who are downgraded. I cannot find any refernce in BA's terms and conditions that address the question of downgrading feom one class to another.

Customer:

Sorry I clicked reply by mistake. In my view it's question of interpreting the Regulations, only a cout can do this.

LondonlawyerJ :

I think my answer above stands then.

Customer:

I do not think it is a breach of contract issue as BA are bound by Reulation (EC) 261/2004 Article 10 sub-clause 2(c) ntwirstanding thier T&C's.

LondonlawyerJ :

The principles of interpreting the language of regulations will be the same as set out above. It is a contract issue, the regulations are there to regulate contracts for flight tickets.

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