You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

Calls for a test case for lockdown airline refunds

0
Written by: Emma Lunn
08/10/2021
Consumer champion website The Complaining Cow is calling for a test case to be taken against an airline over pandemic-related flight refunds.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced yesterday that it was dropping its investigation into the refund policies of British Airways and Ryanair.

The competition watchdog was looking into whether the two airlines broke the law by failing to offer refunds for flights customers could not legally take during lockdown.

During periods of lockdown across the UK, British Airways and Ryanair refused to give refunds to people that were lawfully unable to fly, with British Airways offering vouchers or rebooking and Ryanair providing the option to rebook. Both airlines still operated many flights, despite lockdown restrictions making non-essential travel illegal.

When a flight is cancelled the law is clear, a full refund must be given. However, the law does not cover the situation where a flight goes ahead but the law prevents people from going on it. The CMA believes that consumers should be refunded but “…concluded that prolonging this investigation could not be justified given the length of time it would take to reach an outcome in the courts and the uncertain outcome.”

Helen Dewdney, founder of the Complaining Cow, said: “In the past, where airlines have tried to get out of paying refunds and test cases have been brought a precedent has been set. And that precedent has been set in favour of consumers. This could be from either a consumer organisation or a class action. We need to show companies that they cannot run roughshod over consumers.”

Dewdney is calling for a law firm to pick up the case on behalf of an individual or group affected by Ryanair and BA’s refusal to refund customers and bring these airlines to justice.

A class action is where a group of people come together and are represented as a group against a company in court.

Previous class actions against airlines include the 2012 case of Huzar v Jet2 and Dawson v Thomson. These confirmed that “routine technical difficulties” for an airline were not “extraordinary circumstances” under the terms of the EC261 regulations, with the Supreme Court upholding the decision in 2014.

Also, in 2018, the European Court of Justice ruled in the class action case of Helga Krüsemann and Others v TUIfly, stating that a strike by an airline company’s employees were not “extraordinary circumstances”.

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

The savings accounts paying the most interest

It’s time to get your finances in shape, and moving your cash savings to a higher paying deal is a good plac...

Everything you need to know about being furloughed

Few people had heard of ‘furlough’ before March 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic thrust the idea of bein...

The experts’ guide to sorting out your personal finances in 2021

From opting to ‘low spend’ months to imposing your own ‘cooling-off period’, industry experts reveal t...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

Having a baby and your finances: seven top tips

We’re guessing the Duchess of Cambridge won’t be fretting about maternity pay or whether she’ll still be...

Protecting family wealth: 10 tips for cutting inheritance tax

Inheritance tax - sometimes known as 'death tax' - can cause even more heartache for bereaved families. But th...

Travel insurance: Five tips to ensure a successful claim

Ahead of your summer holiday, it’s important to make sure you have the right level of travel cover or you co...

Money Tips of the Week