The US is well known for being a litigious society, which often takes the form of class action suits brought against businesses by consumers.
To give an example, I recently received an e-mail out of the blue from a law firm that had brought a class action suit against a restaurant I visited in Los Angeles years ago over the treatment of staff tips. Still waiting for the settlement of tens of dollars, after the deduction of the lawyers fees!
BA has itself faced class action suits. In 2018, BA settled a suit, in the form of Avios, brought by members of the Executive Club in respect of cash fuel surcharges which were added to reward flights. Members argued that the fuel surcharges were inflated and had no correlation to the cost of fuel.
Executive Club Class Action Waiver
BA has today, Thursday 28 May 2020, updated the terms and conditions of the Executive Club to include a class action waiver for residents of the US and Canada.
Of the 9 million active members of Avios frequent flyer programmes, there are about 1 million registered in the Americas. This includes members of other IAG frequent flyer programmes such as Iberia Plus.
Where a dispute arises between BA and a member of the Executive Club in the US and Canada, these changes effectively seek to prevent the member from joining a class action suit or taking the airline to court.
Instead, BA aims to resolve the issue on an individual basis only through binding arbitration.
There is also a time limit of two years on members based in the US bringing a claim from when they “knew or should have known” about the issue that caused the dispute. This alone could easily result in litigation. How do you prove what somebody “knew or should have known”!?
We’re not qualified to comment on how enforceable these changes are. It will no doubt be tested at some point in the future.
Full details of these new clauses are reproduced below.Continue reading “BA Seeks To Prevent Executive Club Class Action Suits”