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UK court ruling may lead to 6 years of refunds for cancelled returns on missed flights

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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.

Iberia A330 350

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.


how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

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We also recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (45)

  • Gomigo says:

    ‪Rob I just noticed that Iberia Plus has made a quiet change to its combine avios rule. Avios can be transferred only from Avios / BAEC to Iberia Plus and not other way around. Also we cannot undo the transfer once it is completed. Any insights ???‬

    • Genghis says:

      Eh? Where did you notice?

    • the real harry1 says:

      the insight is you are just on the standard Avios transfer page and that’s what you normally see

      the IT is rubbish

      you can still move Avios about freely between the various bits of IAG, but you might need the help of the pushmi pullyu 🙂

      nothing to see, please move on 🙂

  • Nick says:

    I think we have to make a distinction here between ‘two singles’ and ‘a return’. If the pricing genuinely is on a single flight basis (i.e. you can buy the individual sectors at the price displayed) then it should be considered as such. If you need to buy a return to get that price then it’s fair for the airline to link the two together.

    So with this in mind,
    Ryanair – all singles (and they openly don’t cancel return legs if you miss the first)
    BA longhaul – return pricing, so no protected sectors
    ex-EU – normally fully married logic, so no protection
    BA shorthaul – Heathrow – also return pricing
    BA shorthaul – Gatwick – priced as singles
    (Yes I know this seems odd but it’s true, try it on ba.com, you’ll see what I mean!)

    So even if this case does hold, BA would only have to protect you out of Gatwick, not out of Heathrow.

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