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UKSolicitorJA
UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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My wife and I were downgraded on a BA flight from Club Class

Resolved Question:

My wife and I were downgraded on a BA flight from Club Class to Economy. EC Regulation /2004 Articles 10.2 (c) provides for compensation of 75% of 'the price of the ticket'.

We purchased the ticket using 100,000 loyalty points, I did offer to accept a refund 75% of the miles but this was rejected. I now intend to 'stick my toes in'.

If a passenger is rerouted Article 8.1 (a) of the Regulation provides compensation of 'the full cost of the ticket at the price at which it was brought'.

I contend that the compensation my wife and I should receive is the price of a Club Class ticket (over £5,000) arguing that if the legislators required the compensation to be 'the full cost of the ticket at the price at which it was brought' they would have said so.

Note: Whilst the Regulation's scope extends to tickets purchased with loyalty points this is not referred to in the various compensation term, it is therefore assumed that the legislators intention is to award cash compensation, rather than a refund of the point
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

When did this happen and why were you downgraded?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

On 25th April. The scheduled plane was struck by lightning on a previous flight - the replacement aircraft did not have the same number of Club Class seats.
I would make the follwoing points:-


1) A court has ruled that problems on previous flights cannot be used


as a reason for declining compensation.


2) BA have rules on downgrading , gold card holders gwet priority,


then sliver then full fare pax , pax using airmiles are down th list.


3) In my view BA did not take reasonable steps to re-route.


 


The question relaes to whether compenstation (if proved) shpould be 75% of the cost of a Club Class ticket


 

Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 3 years ago.
Thank you.

Article 10 of Regulation EC No. 261/2004 provides that the compensation payable is 75% of the price of the ticket assuming that the flight was longer than 3500 kilometres and assuming that the ticket was purchased.

The wording does state purchased so if you paid by cash, a cash refund is required, if you purchased by the use of air miles, then the refund should arguably be by way of air miles.

Arguably, you are looking at a refund of 75% of air miles, not cash.

Can I help further?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

With respect the Regulation does not state 'purchase' (please see my first communication for wording). In my view it is not for the public to second guess the legislators. They say the compensation is 75% of the price of a ticket as distinct to the price at which the ticket was brought which is the wording used eleswhere in the Reuglation,


In my opinon the Regulations would state 75% of the price at which the ticket was brought or 75% of the loyalty points, if this was the intention.


 


 


 

Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 3 years ago.
The wording is stated below and the word purchased is there:

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
(a) 30 % of the price of the ticket for all flights of 1500 kilometres or less, or
(b) 50 % of the price of the ticket for all intra-Community flights of more than 1500 kilometres, except flights between the European territory of the Member States and the French overseas departments, and for all other flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometres, or
(c) 75 % of the price of the ticket for all flights not falling under (a) or (b), including flights between the European territory of the Member States and the French overseas departments.

In your case, you purchased the ticket with air miles, not cash and as such refund should be by way of air miles.

Hope this clarifies
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks,


There is no doubt that I was placed in two classes lower than that for which the tiicket was purchased ( I purchased the ticket with air miles).


 


Having stated this the Regulation goes on to set out the compensation payable which is 75% of the price of the ticket. This is the crux of the question.


 


I can see the carrier will argue that in my case the price of the ticket was 100,000 airmiles and that 75% should be refunded. My counter argument is that in other Articles of the Regulation the price is stated to be 'the price at which the ticket was brought.' There is a clearly a difference between this wording and '75% of the price of the ticket'.


 


I would refer you to http://ec.europa.eu/transport/themes/passengers/air/doc/neb/questions_answers.pdf_reg_2004_261.pdf

Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 3 years ago.
Dear XXXXX,

You may certainly put forward your argument about refund being in cash and not airmiles. I agree that the wording of the Regulations is ambigous and open to several different interpretations e.g. it is 75% of just the sector you were downgraded, is it refund in cash or air miles etc.

Only a court having competent jurisdiction has the power to make a final determination on this issue and if you are unable to mutually agree with BA on an amicable way of settling your complaint, then I am afraid you will need to go to court to seek a ruling against BA.

Hope this helps and please remember to leave feedback so that I am credited for my time.
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