Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forum Replies Created

  • StillintheSun 136 posts

    My view is a little different. I travel a lot and complain infrequently. I completely understand why someone may not complain immediately. I had the misfortune of staying at the Hilton Gatwick a few years ago. I arrived late and had to catch an early morning flight. The room was very tired and the bathroom smelt of sewage. I ensured the bathroom door was closed and grabbed my 5 hours sleep before dashing for my flight the next day without complaining. I had paid £175. The hotel would have known that the room/rooms required a refurb. I tweeted Hilton corporate, sent them photos of the room and politely asked for points equivalent to 50% of the room price and received them without a fuss. Superb service recovery. My room did cost more than the poster and that was a consideration of mine. The room generally was poor as well. However in my humble opinion a failure to provide a working bathroom is unacceptable.

    Finally to be fair to the hotel I haven’t stayed there for a few years and so things may have improved, the Radisson Stansted however is a disgrace and should be removed from the brand.

    in reply to: Pre order Upper Class meals
    StillintheSun 136 posts

    It is worth persevering with. I had a very tasty pre-ordered curry. Spicy food overcomes attitude deadened taste buds.

    StillintheSun 136 posts

    Thanks very much @NorthernLass, @Lady London @JDB. I’ve been out of the HFP loop for a while and so completely deskilled 😉
    I have my first 241 in a few years and hoped there might be a clever workaround. Never mind, after 2 weeks of wine tasting a more limited bar will probably do me good.

    StillintheSun 136 posts

    @yonasl and @NorthernLass. Thank you that is helpful. In essence is everyone agreed that say I don’t want to accept the downgrade on my original flight, I can ask for say business on the next flight out but if BA refuses that request I’m essentially stuck with the downgrade?

    Presumably there are no bright ideas to get around this? I wonder if there is any case law widening the scope of “denied boarding” to being denied boarding in your booked cabin. I wouldn’t be particularly hopeful on winning on that interpretation but in law plenty of seemingly good arguments fail and bad ones win.

    I suspect if BA single me out on my return from Cape Town next year I’m stuck with it!

    StillintheSun 136 posts

    Hello!
    I’ve kept away from the EC Flight Regs for a bit but the downgrade question is of interest because passengers often feel forced to accept the downgrade. Indeed, there are occasions where the airline representative either implies or states outright that no further assistance will be provided if the downgrade is refused.

    It seems relatively simple on a plain reading of the Regulations. Article 4 concerns denied boarding and specifically states that the airline must (along with Article 8 compensation) “assist [the passenger] in accordance with Articles 8 and 9”. Article 8 provides the three options that is the passenger’s right to choose from and which include the all important words “under comparable transport conditions.” Therefore (again on a plain reading) a passenger on a business/first ticket can refuse the downgrade and then be entitled to be rerouted to their final destination “at the earliest opportunity” or “at a later date at the passenger’s convenience” in the same cabin.

    Is there any case law to support this or is the answer so clear cut that it has not been tested? Has anyone successfully claimed against BA (or another airline) in these circumstances after the airline refused to go beyond transporting you in a lower class? I’d feel a little ballsy stumping up several grand in the belief that I would get it back due to my view alone of Article 4.

    I realise this may not help Slb1970 but I suspect it is of general interest.

    StillintheSun 136 posts

    Sounds unpleasant but hopefully something that will heal quickly without undue effect on you such as having to take time off work. I’d take photos of where the accident happened and the defect just to be on the safe side in the highly unlikely event that the injury doesn’t resolve as anticipated.

    in reply to: Seeking compensation query – BA response
    StillintheSun 136 posts

    @JDB

    That is a good chunk of experience in these matters! I am happy to stand corrected with regards to your experience 🙂

    Submissions are not telling the adjudicator how to do their job. I set them out on here in exactly the same manner as an advocate would do in Court; succinctly with regard to basic legal principles. It is then for the decision maker to reach a conclusion.

    I agree that muddled, verbose claims are definitely more likely to fail even if the law is addressed. However, that comes down to persuasive ability (not law) which if irrelevant would render my occupation pretty pointless.

    Finally, I’d hazard that the ability of HFP readers (given what Rob says about their background) would be much better than average at presenting their case and knowing the law (it’s covered plenty oh here). These characteristics need to be taken into account when assessing prospects before CEDR.

    I do think you were rather negative with regards to prospects of success against Creation and in respect of that issue many people have got something as opposed to nothing had the not brought their complaints.

    As ever I respect your viewpoint, I just quite often disagree with it. Hardly an uncommon scenario when different individuals discuss all manner of cases!

    in reply to: Seeking compensation query – BA response
    StillintheSun 136 posts

    @JDB
    Where is the evidence for the last assertion? Have you even run a case through CEDR?

    Most of the arbiters have at least trained as lawyers (even if not currently practicing) and the causation principle mentioned above is basic. No one has raised any case law to suggest that the EC Regs are somehow exempt for this.

    No need to go to MCOL and you only lose £25 if you completely lose at CEDR. It is not a lot to lose given the delay has already occurred and its not as if you have purchased a new flight. Moreover, it will cost BA more to oppose you in any event.

    Of course, getting the information as to delays would be a little difficult but in my first written submission before CEDR I would simply state:
    “If BA wish to rely upon any other delay other than that caused by themselves, they are asked to state the time such delay began and its duration.” If BA failed to do the same in their defence, in my response following the defence I would note that failure and state that as there was clearly a total delay of sufficient length to given rise to compensation and BA have admitted that they have caused a delay, the onus is on BA to demonstrate than an alternative delay reduces the total delay length to avoid liability. In circumstances where they have failed to provide sufficient evidence (despite requested to do so) to justify their assertion that an alternative delay should be taken into account should be ignored.

    I do think that glorious win against Creation demonstrates that a little ambition over excessive conservatism yields results not least when there is very little to lose by a throw of the die.

    in reply to: Seeking compensation query – BA response
    StillintheSun 136 posts

    If there are two delay periods, one caused by BA and one ATC, all is not lost! If the ATC delay occurred during or after the BA delay I would argue that but for the BA delay you would not have been caught up in the ATC delay (your flight would have left prior to the ATC delay) and therefore given that the BA delay was causative of the total delay period of your flight, BA is liable for all of it.

    I’m afraid it’s unclear from BA’s response whether the restrictions were all day, part of the day and of course the start of them.

    I’m working from 1st principles on this one and so very happy to be corrected if someone knows better in the EC Regs context.

    StillintheSun 136 posts

    I’ve been through the CEDR process.
    Below is the link to the flowchart:
    https://www.cedr.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Adjudication-process-flowchart-v2.jpg

    In my case CEDR provided a 4.5 page Defence. Within that document were screen shots of their computer entries relevant to their defence (the evidence). I do not believe any evidence was relied upon outside of the Defence as it was neither referred to in the Defence or in the decision explaining why BA lost.

    Upon the receipt of the Defence, you may comment thereon. Frankly, if any assertion was not supported by any evidence set out in the Defence I would state the following in reply:
    “I note that the following is set out in BA’s defence [insert assertion]. Despite having every opportunity to provide evidence to support the same both prior to and during this arbitration BA have not done so. The assertion ought therefore be disregarded as it cannot be proven by BA. [Moreover, it is contradicted by the evidence I have provided as part of this process] Clearly in these circumstance my evidence vis-a-vis BA’s failure to provide evidence should be preferred.”

    I would not compare what goes on with the FOS, with what goes on with CEDR. Of course if anyone has any evidence to support the assertion that in CEDR you do not get to see BA’s evidence as opposed to assertions that would be interesting to know about.

    in reply to: Creation Financial Services bashing
    StillintheSun 136 posts

    Well done for your persistence everyone. I’m glad to see another consumer victory! Again poor show that each and every one of you has not been offered something extra for the months spent waiting to receive what you asked for an age ago!

    It does rather show that where there is limited financial exposure to yourself its worth going for it by way of free arbitration.

    You can bring a case to FOS up to 6 years after the problem arose so everyone ought still be in time to pursue Creation through FOS if they have not already done so.

    StillintheSun 136 posts

    @EssexLout

    I had a problem in Feb with a Radisson hotel that was refusing to return my “deposit” on a flexible booking. Hotel ignored my email, Radisson web form went unanswered, Radisson twitter sorted out very quickly with extra points thrown in for my troubles. Definitely worth a try before raising the issue with you credit card company. Section 75 probably doesn’t apply to business bookings but Amex were very good when a company delivered a package (paid from on my business Amex) to the wrong address and were refusing to refund me. Worth taking it up with your credit card provide if tweeting Radisson doesn’t work.

    in reply to: Would you pursue to arbitration?
    StillintheSun 136 posts

    There is another reason why you might have pursued it namely whether taking part in the “litigation” process is something you might find personally interesting and therefore worth your time regardless of the potential financial recovery that you might have obtained. There are plenty of us on here that have developed a rather geeky interest in this area and there are others who have enjoyed the process of pursuing a misbehaving company and feel they have learnt something in the process.

    Nevertheless there is no one side fits all and it sounds like you made an informed choice. So as long as you are personally content with the balancing exercise you have performed then you have made the right decision for you.

    I have to say for my part airlines promising to perform their duty in law and then reneging on the same is particularly poor form.

    in reply to: Radisson email for complaints / CEO Email
    StillintheSun 136 posts

    I might be missing something here but the room was £150 cash not points so I’m not intending to let them keep it without a bit of a fight 🙂

    in reply to: QANTAS – Covid cancellation – refused rebooking
    StillintheSun 136 posts

    @JDB your guess as to my profession was entirely reasonable given I deliberately previously described myself as a litigator which tends to be used more by solicitors. At the back of my mind I have had clients in the past, who I might hope to have in the future, who may be less than thrilled about me providing pro-consumer views (albeit in an entirely different industry). A self-enforced embargo to 14:30 to indulge in my first glass of South African fizz (costing a very reasonable £3) clearly made me loose lipped 🙂

    in reply to: QANTAS – Covid cancellation – refused rebooking
    StillintheSun 136 posts

    @jdb

    As a barrister of 20 years experience who spent a lot of time before DJs and still works with colleagues who still spend a lot of time before DJs what you say on the two issues I identified is just wrong. Dammerman, which I assume you are aware of by reading the half page on unreasonable costs in the White Book is frankly ignored by DJs in practice. A bright barrister of one year call can give you a pretty good opinion on what the statute and the text book says but he can’t tell you what actually occurs usually on the ground in a wide range of situations. I’m cagey about what I actually do but I can tell you I have been (in the past) involved in mass consumer litigation and not necessarily on the side you might expect.

    in reply to: QANTAS – Covid cancellation – refused rebooking
    StillintheSun 136 posts

    I’m sorry @JDB but you seem to want it both ways:
    You say that the causal relevancy does not matter when BA’s conditions of carriage would have meant that BA would have refused the requested re-route even had it been made the day following the cancellation as opposed to the request that was made 5 months later.
    Now you suggest that it is causally relevant to Article 14 whether or not the passenger was aware of his cancellation rights.
    It is a perfectly standard argument in many areas of law that where a defendant is in continuous breach of a duty, that any dereliction by the other side is of limited relevance when the breach has not been remedied.

    The problem is @jdb is you can do a high level analysis of the EC Flight Regs in isolation but as a man in finance your knowledge of principles that extend across the law and influence each individual case is much more limited. Some general assertions that you make on here are just plain wrong. For example, it is utterly incorrect to assert that a district judge in a small claims case will place significant reliance or indeed any reliance on the decision of CEDR. Secondly, the plain wording of the CPR in Part 27 says that adverse costs in small claims may be awarded if a party has behaved “unreasonably.” This appears to indicate that such awards may be made relatively often. Those in practice will know that such awards, especially against unrepresentative litigants are very unusual and certainly would not occur in circumstances that you frighten people with on here.

    Usually there needs to be some pretty poor, wilful misconduct. For example a hearing is scheduled to take place remotely and the claimant is sent a copy of the hearing notice which expressly states that the claimant must have a copy of the trial bundle and a quiet, private place to attend the trial. At the allotted time the claimant, a repair man is out on a job with no trial bundle and so the trial could not proceed. He would be at risk of a costs order in these circumstances but even so many DJs would “wimp out” in making one. DJs really do not like to hand out such orders against the man on the street on the small claims track because the philosophy of that track is to provide access to justice to determine low level disputes. handling out such orders would act as a coolant on the practical operation of that policy.

    All I am doing is setting out different ways to defeat the consumer delay argument in the wider legal sense that a DJ would be familiar with. I think there are about 4 or 5 now which each person will need to make a decision if relevant to their own case.

    Final this post is to do with Qantas, not BA. If Qantas have cancelled especially cheap flights on a massive scale they well have completely failed to inform consumers of their EC rights. I know not, only the affected passenger can go though their documentation and determine the same and the date it occurred.

    Finally it remains to be seen if a non-specific link to a webpage setting out in a general way `EC Rights is sufficient under Article 14 given the pro-consumer nature of the Regs. Certainly it may not be especially when compared to other carriers such as mentioned by @hugol0ver

    Anyway time for Brekky with a view 🙂

    in reply to: QANTAS – Covid cancellation – refused rebooking
    StillintheSun 136 posts

    I’m only dipping into HFP at the moment as I’m in beautiful South Africa.

    However, @Lady London’s post above has given me an idea. The failure to inform a passenger of their EC rights is a breach of Article 14. Therefore in circumstances where the airline continues to fail to inform then the airline is in continuous breach of the Regs. Thus the date of the breach extends from the cancellation until the passenger is informed of their rights. Thus an airline cannot rely on a passenger’s delay in exercising those rights when the airline is still in breach under Article 14. A delay by the punter is only relevant after the airline has informed them appropriately of their rights thus any delay by the punter cannot run and be relevant until the Article 14 information has been provided by the airline.

    Please blame the wine tram if there are more typos than usual.

    in reply to: QANTAS – Covid cancellation – refused rebooking
    StillintheSun 136 posts

    Here are two topics showing the views of various posters on here. The law will be the same but as ever you will need to adapt the facts. Happy reading.

    https://www.headforpoints.com/forums/topic/victory-over-ba-at-cedr-on-ticket-validity-issue/

    https://www.headforpoints.com/forums/topic/cedr-loss-ba-ticket-validity-rule/

    in reply to: CEDR loss – BA ticket validity rule
    StillintheSun 136 posts

    Sorry @BA Flyer if I am being unclear.
    Say I had used my points to book a business class flight with BA, the taxes/outrageous surcharges being £500 and the points 100,000 to see Santa in Lapland over Christmas. Let’s say those points at a penny each are worth £1,000. So the total value of the flight that I booked is £1,500.

    BA cancel my flight for whatever reason and can only offer me a flight in Feb for whatever reason. Santa won’t see me in Feb so I ask for the exact same flights a year later as I believe I have a right under the EC Regs. BA tell me to bog off but offers me my points and cash back.

    I really want to see Santa but the flights to buy (rather than use points) cost £2,500 and there is no points availability. I buy them and therefore due to BA’s breach I am £1,000 out of pocket so I successfully claim at CEDR.

    When we first started discussing these cases the above was a very common scenario (not Santa) but the need to purchase flights more expensive than they were originally. All the £1,000 is doing is representing that cost due to BA’s EC Regs breach. It is simply demonstrating that for a potential £25 loss, if I win at CEDR I recover £1,000, a multiple of 40 and in my personal opinion worth going to CEDR for, especially if as I also personally believe the prospects of victory are 65% but even if they were 40% I’d take the shot.

    Apologies if that is overly verbose and it feels like I’m teaching my grandparent to suck eggs 🙂

    in reply to: CEDR loss – BA ticket validity rule
    StillintheSun 136 posts

    @Jon
    I agree with everything that you say. All potential litigants have to consider the time and emotional cost when pursuing litigation. Frankly, most commercial companies know that by stonewalling, a lot of people will not even begin litigating after complaining. Other companies will fight cases they know that their chances of successfully defending are low to deter others from seeking to take their cases to trial.

    My father, not a lawyer and retired thoroughly enjoys meeting up with his local Tory MP (who he did not and never would) vote for and complaining about the NHS. So too whichever small claim he has on the go at any one time. Although sometimes I wish he didn’t call me about his £200 claims when I’m desperate to get something finished at work. he certainly would not have done either when working.

    I wish I had as much interest in some of my case load as I do on this subject. However, this feels like a developing area of law and discussing it with others on here even when I disagree with them seems a healthy pastime 🙂

    For my part I think its really helpful for others like yourself to describe your own experience in bringing claims. I know that Courts etc can be intimidating even for professional people (especially who have never been before in any capacity). Such information enables posters to make informed decisions as to what they want to do.

    I have a bias towards CEDR because its cheap, requires far less work and is less intimidating even though I have far more experience litigating in the Court system and the decision makers are on a whole superior.

    in reply to: CEDR loss – BA ticket validity rule
    StillintheSun 136 posts

    @BA Flyer IHG Stayer
    You are absolutely right about the need for clarity in your claim. @JDB to his credit is very helpful in directing posters about the need for this and especially leaving out extraneous information. Lead the decision maker clearly, logically and quickly to the outcome you are seeking.

    in reply to: CEDR loss – BA ticket validity rule
    StillintheSun 136 posts

    The £1,000 is just for illustrative purposes and I’m simply keeping it consistent. I don’t know what the average claim value is at CEDR because I can’t obtain that information. It seems a reasonable figure when considering whether an action (taking a case to CEDR) is worthwhile, neither too small or too big.

    From the posts on here I suspect there is often more than £1,000 at stake, particularly when what seems a long time ago we were discussing BA’s refusal to rebook cancelled points flights onto business class flights. BA wanted £14,000 to put us on the same business class flights that I wanted a year after cancellation. I paid £4,200 for Qatar flights and successfully pursued BA at CEDR.

    You could of course use the actual cost of the new flight(s) sought in my example above but my point is this:
    If the financial benefit to you of a win is many multiples more than than the financial cost to you if you lose then in something like CEDR the sensible advice is to go for it even if @JDB advised that you are more likely to lose than win. The prospects of success are not the only important factor when determining the action or inaction that you should take.

    in reply to: CEDR loss – BA ticket validity rule
    StillintheSun 136 posts

    @JDB 🙂 @dougzz99

    I’m up early so I’ll take the bait. To anyone else thoroughly bored by all this just scroll past and ignore the sun icon in future.

    Part 1 – The Question

    Most outcomes are determined by large number of variables. However, by picking the significant ones we can at least get an overall view.

    Some people work in areas where precision is everything, it is not acceptable to make decisions where information is available that has not been obtained. Often they are not working against someone actively working against them.

    I’m a litigator, have been for 20 years. My opposite number is doing everything they can to defeat me. They have absolutely no intention of assisting me in getting a clear picture of all the variables. It is unacceptable for me professionally to say I just can’t help you, I’ve no idea because I just don’t have all the information. I must provide advice both tactical and otherwise with what I have, the good information, the questionable information and the potentially down right misleading. It my professional duty to do just that. One of the biggest complaints from in-house commercial lawyers who utilise outside firms (at least those that speak to me) is that they get several pages of waffle as to all the possible outcomes and pitfalls but no actual advice as to what legally is being positively advised despite the risks identified.

    In these cases, I am a mere consumer, unlike BA I cannot possibly know the average value of a claim taken to CEDR, nor how many cases against BA go through CEDR. If someone on behalf of BA wishes to provide it, great I’ll utilise it but there a cat in hell’s chance of them doing so.

    All my calculations demonstrate is that when the financial (and indeed personal) risk is so low as compared to the potential gains then generally you should give it a go. In my case under £400 (cancellations charges and CEDR £25) was at risk for the £4,200 I sought. Had I followed @meta’s advice only £25 would have been at risk for £4,200. I like a day out at the Races for my birthday. If there was horse where for a £1 bet I would receive £168 for a win and there were 40% prospects of winning I’d definitely put a bet on, nothing crazy mind you, a sensible fiver on the nose. I’d get £840 if I won or lose a fiver. I’d hopefully have a great time watching the race in any event cheering my horse on.

    So before I move on to specific figures I’ll ask a direct question to @JDB and anyone else who cares to answer:

    I have a 40% chance of winning my case at CEDR. I’ll have to fill out some documents and there will be some help off the internet should I need it. I’m a professional person, I have no fear of forms and I am sufficiently pissed off (rightly or wrongly) with the way I’ve been treated that I’m minded not just to let it lie. If I win I’ll get £1,000 more than if I just accept the refund offered (I don’t view that as insignificant). If I lose I’ll pay £25 and get a refund in any event. I’ve got a meeting in a couple of mins but I know you are a bit of a geek about this sort of thing, should I stick or twist?

    in reply to: CEDR loss – BA ticket validity rule
    StillintheSun 136 posts

    @points_worrier
    I am being a little naughty in respect of @JDB but I hope playfully so. My personal opinion is his views on the law, whilst I do not agree, are extremely helpful. You need to know where the hurdles are to jump over them. My only concern is that the macro analysis demonstrates that most consumers should steam ahead when there is very limited financial risk and I worry that he may dissuade those that should pursue BA from doing so!

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