Three years ago we wrote about the court decision in Huzar vs Jet2. Jet2’s decision not to pay Mr Huzar his EU compensation has turned out to be one of the most expensive mistakes in recent aviation history, since Mr Huzar won in court. This set a legal precedent that airlines must pay compensation due to mechanical faults and that these are not ‘out of the control’ of the airline.
Dove vs Iberia will have similar repercussions although, legally, the decision in this case is not binding. In reality, it is unlikely any other judge would find differently unless Iberia chooses to appeal.
James Dove booked a return flight from Gatwick to Madrid but missed the outbound flight, arriving just a few minutes late at the airport. Rather than go home, he decided to bite the bullet and buy a one way flight with another airline, presumably easyJet.
As he had missed his outbound flight, Iberia automatically cancelled his return. He was therefore forced to buy a new return ticket as well. Mr Dove felt that this was unfair. After all, the flights had been priced individually on the Iberia website and he could just as easily have booked 2 x one-way flights for the same money.
Iberia refused to refund the money for the return flight, so Mr Dove took the airline to court. This week, he won.
Iberia may still appeal – apparently it has until next Monday to decide.
If it does not, it will open the floodgates to refund claims dating back six years (five years in Scotland). If you have lost money since 2011 on the return leg of a flight because you failed to turn up for the outbound – and, for clarity, you can’t get money back for the outbound leg – then you should make a claim in writing to your airline.
What is unclear is what this means for ‘missed leg’ flights. As all Head for Points readers know, booking a flight from Amsterdam to London to Hong Kong is aggressively cheaper, in premium cabins, than London to Hong Kong. But what does this ruling mean for anyone who misses the flight in Amsterdam but still wants to turn up in London?
There is more on this story on The Independent website here. None of the other papers seem to have picked it up yet. Thanks to Richard for flagging.
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