British Airways has agreed to pay up for its obscene fuel surcharges levied on transatlantic travel. I’m taking cash over Avios.
In a nutshell, this lawsuit contends that British Airways’ fuel surcharges were disproportionate to the price of fuel and therefore BA was overcharging consumers. Rather than litigate on the merits of the case, BA settled.
Plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in which they alleged that BA charged fuel surcharges to SettlementClass Members on frequent flyer reward flights that breached the [Executive Club] (EC) Contract. BA deniesthat it did anything wrong, believes that the EC Contract permitted it to impose a fuelsurcharge, and that the fuel surcharges that it imposed on Settlement Class Members wereappropriate under the EC Contract. Accordingly, BA has vigorously defended Plaintiffs’allegations. The Parties, however, have agreed to settle the Litigation to avoid the cost,delay, and uncertainty of continuing the Litigation.
British Airways will pay out either cash or Avios (miles) to members of the class, U.S. consumers who paid British Airways fuel surcharges between November 9, 2006 and April 17, 2013.
Payouts look like this:
- 12,500 Avios if you made one redemption
- 20,000 Avios if you made between two and five redemptions
- 35,000 Avios if you made six or more redemptions
Cash payouts will constitute 16.9% of total fuel surcharges paid.
If you are a member of the class action, you should have received an e-mail entitled Dover v. British Airways Fuel Surcharge Class Action Notice. My e-mail went to spam, so please check there if you are expecting one. It will contain a unique class member identifier which you can use to submit your cash claim.
Avios payments are automatic. If you do nothing, you will receive an Avios deposit from British Airways according to the terms above. However, if you want cash, you must choose cash via the online claims form.
If you have changed email addresses or feel you should be included in this and received no email, you can e-mail email@example.com or call 1 (833) 261-2496.
The deadline to submit your claim for a fuel sucharge refund is July 29, 2018.
Why I Took Cash Over Avios
I thought I was smart enough to avoid British Airways fuel surcharges, but it turns out I did book one ticket over the nearly seven year period.
Thus, when I entered my class ID, I was offered 12,500 Avios or $221.88:
I value BA Avios at 1.5 cents each. That means I value the 12,500 Avios at $187.50. Consequently, taking the $221.88 (1.78 cents each) made more sense.
p.s. The Lawyers…
The Class Counsel stands to profit very handsomely from this case. From the settlement website:
In connection with the Final Approval Hearing on the Settlement, Class Counsel will apply to the Court for an award of expenses and attorneys’ fees, with the total amount not to exceed $3,750,000 in expenses and $11,095,000 in fees, which is approximately equal to twenty-nine (29) percent of the $42,000,000 total settlement consideration after deduction of expenses. For more than five years, Class Counsel have worked without compensation on this case. During that time, they spent thousands of hours and more than $3.5 million of their own money advancing the litigation.
That’s not a bad ROI…
Will you be choosing cash or Avios for your British Airways settlement?