Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forums Frequent flyer programs British Airways Executive Club CEDR loss – BA ticket validity rule

CEDR loss – BA ticket validity rule

Reply
  • StillintheSun

    I’m wide awake at four in the morning and so naturally I thought I’d give you my penny’s worth on prospects of success in cases where a consumer seeks a re-route within a year of a cancelled flight. @JDB and myself often come at these cases from different angles, myself from the consumer and @JDB from the airline. Professionally it is less likely that a lawyer (and certainly a barrister) has a purely even split of cases for both sides, many have split favouring one side or another. She’s the defendant’s go to, she’s a claimant hack etc. Happily for us, @LadyLondon is the consumer champion @points_worrier is probably the most balanced, @meta has a personal track history of wins and @mingthemerciless wonderfully skilled in gaming the system (my natural prejudice, not helped by watching Industry on the BBC) presumes he/she works/worked in finance). I have certainly enjoyed regaling commercial lawyers I know as to Creation’s complete incompetence. There are plenty more posters all contributing to the hive mind.

    I found @JDB’s view on prospects on another post interesting. Each case will be decided on its own facts but on a situation with tolerably similar facts as this one (although the poster took less time to rebook) @JDB gave prospects of success at 60%. Funnily enough standing back and looking at these cases as a whole rather than each individually I would expect the consumer to win 60 – 70% of the time and therefore really not that dissimilar. Probably at the lower end of that scale before CEDR and towards the higher end of that scale at MCOL because of the ability to make oral submissions during the hearing should the Defendant try to lead him/or her down an unhelpful side street.

    In essence were I running a book of cases for the consumer on an industrial scale I’d expect to lose one in three until my database of courts, judges and decisions proved otherwise. My claims company’s would need to be profitable at this strike rate. A 60-70% success rate is good for litigation. I’ll give a practical example. At the weekend I was talking to a friend who is an experienced litigator for financial institutions facing mass consumer claims of relatively low value. A quote: “Counsel gave us prospects of successfully defeating the claim of 90%. We lost. Who gives 90% prospects anyway. Counsel rarely stick their neck out for more than 70%” We then agreed that prospects of around 60% rather than 70% were more likely for litigation where there were clearly arguments going both ways even if one way appeared more attractive.

    In essence I believe that these cases are worth fighting because their prospects are in a range of what would be considered good by lawyers. BA are operating having regard to factors other than the law. They know by forcing consumers to fight claims with “good” prospects many will give up at the first hurdle. Their tactic makes financial sense.

    There is possibly a rude awakening for BA, or at least the reality will alter requiring a change of approach. There is already in the USA a bot that is capable of appealing parking fines on behalf of drivers enabling people to bring claims for very low cost and effort. It seems to me that within a decade this sort of self-contained, low value litigation will outsourced to AI vastly reducing the cost and effort to both sides. My prediction is that this is likely to lead to a wave of cases such as these against corporations and financial institutions because the effort, emotional commitment and cost will be so much less. We shall see! But for now if you can fight a case, at limited financial risk to yourself with only a one in three chance of losing then in my view that is case you should fight.

    Rui N.

    Just to note that US bot is way overrated. Guides to appeal parking fines, telling you what to write exactly where, have been around for 100 years.

    StillintheSun

    @Rui N.
    That’s interesting the senior judiciary keep saying they want to automate the hell out of low value claims! Perhaps that bright future is further away than they hope 🙂

    I thought of another thing that can be ripped apart by any sensible mathematician on here but let’s look at all this on a macro level at BA’s case book. We’ll ignore the really good cases (BA will pay them off straight away) and the really bad cases (these will die a death anyway). Let’s assume the vast majority of the cases have prospects of 2 in 3 in the consumers’ favour. Let’s attach an average value to these cases of £1,000 (possibly on the low side). Let’s say losing at Court costs £500 in court fees and for each case they take to court they have to stump up £500 for a cheap barrister. Leaving aside all the other costs (such as administration and cost of formulating legal documents). For each case they lose at court BA will incur a £2,000 loss, even when they win they are out of pocket £500 for Counsel’s brief fee. Therefore, every three cases run to trial costs BA £4,500. To just break even is unattractive as it will result in annoying a lot of customers for no financial gain. However, with a £4,500 loss for running three cases to trial BA must persuade a further 4.5 consumers with the same decent prospects of success not to pursue them. If the total group size is therefore 7.5 then BA will lose at trial 27% of cases, win 13% but needs to persuade 60% of consumers with decent prospects of success not to pursue them to trial even to financially break even.

    It doesn’t take much of a percentage switch for consumers with decent cases to move from the give up to the fight category to destroy BA’s strategy 🙂

    yorkieflyer

    I’ve read this thread with interest and some sympathy as I won a ticket validity case with BA through CEDR as I’ve reported before. Rebooked from Xmas 21 to Xmas 22. The circumstances were similar but perhaps crucially not a second or third rebooking. Clearly Adjudicators while referencing the law take a balanced view of the “rebooking at a time and date of the customers choice” clause with BA arguing in my case and seemingly all others two key points. First, the t&cs on ticket validity and then if that fails, stating that the legislation never intended to offer any date in the future. We can argue whether this is right or wrong but the CEDR fails do seem to be in this zone.
    I had one paid change at my request within ticket validity before BA cancelled the Dec 21 flights in autumn 21 and I waited till Jan 22 till the booking window was open before requesting Dec 22 flights to be rebooked.
    The CEDR process is favourable to the claimant as besides only risking £25 you have 2 bites at the cherry which you must use effectively. After your written claim, BA responds, in my case refencing ticket validity t&cs, my voluntary paid change within validity and saying that they should not be obligated to offer an open ticket.
    Once you’ve seen their argument I believe it is crucial that you address each of their points in your opportunity to reply. I said that I was not offered an alternative flight through manage my booking at the point of cancellation and it was extremely difficult to contact BA at the time and they were asking people not to do so, second I stated the exact dates I wanted which were within a year of the original flights and that we had traveled with BA using Avios at Christmas for a number of years previously and merely wished to take the same a year later. You as claimant have the last word.

    Lady London

    @Rui N.
    That’s interesting the senior judiciary keep saying they want to automate the hell out of low value claims! Perhaps that bright future is further away than they hope 🙂

    I thought of another thing that can be ripped apart by any sensible mathematician on here but let’s look at all this on a macro level at BA’s case book. We’ll ignore the really good cases (BA will pay them off straight away) and the really bad cases (these will die a death anyway). Let’s assume the vast majority of the cases have prospects of 2 in 3 in the consumers’ favour. Let’s attach an average value to these cases of £1,000 (possibly on the low side). Let’s say losing at Court costs £500 in court fees and for each case they take to court they have to stump up £500 for a cheap barrister. Leaving aside all the other costs (such as administration and cost of formulating legal documents). For each case they lose at court BA will incur a £2,000 loss, even when they win they are out of pocket £500 for Counsel’s brief fee. Therefore, every three cases run to trial costs BA £4,500. To just break even is unattractive as it will result in annoying a lot of customers for no financial gain. However, with a £4,500 loss for running three cases to trial BA must persuade a further 4.5 consumers with the same decent prospects of success not to pursue them. If the total group size is therefore 7.5 then BA will lose at trial 27% of cases, win 13% but needs to persuade 60% of consumers with decent prospects of success not to pursue them to trial even to financially break even.

    It doesn’t take much of a percentage switch for consumers with decent cases to move from the give up to the fight category to destroy BA’s strategy 🙂

    That’s very interesting @StillintheSun. Shocking for a lay person like me to see how ruthlessly BA has calculated the net profit to them from refusing to accept their statutory obligations on a mass scale.

    Though I suppose it’s similar to companies calculating how many people they will kill or injure because to eliminate health and safety risk completely is just too costly for the last few deaths or injuries.

  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.