There was an interesting development on Friday on the lawsuit that four frequent flyers’ had filed against British Airways a year ago. The judge dismissed BA’s notion to dismiss the case and ruled that the case can proceed to the discovery phase.
You can access the entire piece on Reuters website here.
The frequent fliers claim that the fuel surcharges that British Airways collects on award tickets has very little to do with the fluctuation of the price of the oil. They have statistical analysis to prove this and BA has countered this argument with their own analysis.
There are four plaintiffs that have all paid significant fuel surcharges on the award tickets issued using British Airways Avios.
Make your own judgment of the merits of this case by reading the following public dockets.
EDIT: IF YOU GET AN ERROR MESSAGE ABOUT GOOGLE DOCS DOWNLOAD LIMIT, JUST USE THE EMBEDDED OR THE DIRECT “DOWNLOAD” LINK. THEN THE PDF IS SERVED DIRECTLY FROM OUR SERVERS.
Here’s the initial filing by the plaintiffs:
Here’s the ruling by the judge that the case can proceed:
Here are some other documents on this case:
Note that I didn’t download couple of dockets that were in the 200 to 1000 pages range and some other filings.
Can you guess that I absolutely hate fuel surcharges? I have no doubt that these surcharges have very little resemblance with the fluctuation of the price of the oil? Brazil has done this right. Fuel surcharges there are banned by the government on all tickets originating from the country.
There have been instances, where the taxes/fees on award tickets are higher than a PAID ticket for the same dates/route on the same airline! How is this possible? Airlines such as Lufthansa must suppress fuel surcharges on some tickets or otherwise the base fare would be negative. They do collect the full surcharges on award tickets, however.