If you’re a British Airways Executive Club member based in the US who redeemed Avios several years back, you may soon find that 12,500-35,000 Avios will automatically be deposited into your Executive Club account.
Class action lawsuit over British Airways fuel surcharges
A class action lawsuit settlement has been reached with British Airways in US court, regarding the fuel surcharges they impose on award tickets. The lawsuit alleged that there was no correlation between British Airways fuel surcharges on award tickets and the cost of fuel, and that this breached the Executive Club terms.
While British Airways denies any wrongdoing, they have agreed to a settlement. The court is expected to sign off on a settlement of over 2.2 billion Avios on July 27, 2018, though that’s always subject to change.
Who is entitled to compensation (Avios or cash)?
This settlement includes all US Executive Club members who redeemed Avios for award tickets between November 9, 2006, and April 17, 2013, and who paid British Airways imposed fuel surcharges. It that describes you, and if the judge signs off on it, you’ll receive either Avios or cash.
If you do nothing, then you should automatically have the following number of Avios deposited in your Executive Club account within 30 days of when the case is signed off on:
- 12,500 Avios if you made one redemption
- 20,000 Avios if you made between two and five redemptions
- 35,000 Avios if you made six or more redemptions
Alternatively, members can elect to receive a payment of 16.9% of the total fuel surcharges they paid for all award tickets they purchased during the period, with a minimum of $5. In order to select this option you’ll have to file a claim by July 29, 2018. Here’s the page where you can file a claim for cash compensation, though it won’t be live until June 3. That’s also the page where you’ll be able to look up what you’re entitled to, and that should go live as of the same day.
How big of a case is this?
The lawsuit says that the total number of Avios that will be placed in Executive Club accounts will be up to 2,228,667,500 (it will be less if people opt for cash). Yes, we’re talking about over two billion Avios. If we assume most people made a single redemption, that means ~178,000 members are impacted.
Before you send the lawyers involved any gifts to thank them, note that they’re doing quite well here — they’ll be compensated nearly $15 million, including $3.75 million in “expenses” and $11 million in fees, which is about 28% of the $42 million settlement compensation.