British Airways Now Posting Up to 2.2 Billion Avios Fuel Surcharge Settlement Refunds
Update 12/12/2018: British Airways Executive Club members are reporting that Avios from this class action settlement have started posting to accounts. If you filed a claim, now is a good time to check your account to see if the correct amount of Avios have posted. If you didn't file a claim but had eligible award flights, it's too late to file a "cash option" claim so you should've automatically received Avios.
British Airways award flights can be especially frustrating for mileage collectors due to the large airline surcharges. Back in 2013, we reported that US-based flyers were so upset with BA's fuel surcharges that they sued. And, while "BA denies that it did anything wrong," we finally have a settlement in the case.
Now, qualifying BA members can claim up to 35,000 Avios or a 16.9% cash refund on the fuel surcharges paid. Based on the number of class action members, British Airways is prepared to issue "up to 2,228,677,500 Avios." At current TPG valuations, those Avios are worth $33,430,163. Alternatively, the class action settlement amount is $31 million after expenses and lawyer fees, which presumably is the maximum payout under the cash option.
So who qualifies for a refund?
All United States resident Executive Club Members who redeemed frequent flyer miles (“Avios”) for an award ticket from November 9, 2006 through April 17, 2013 (the “Class Period”) and who paid a BA-imposed fuel surcharge so long as that United States resident Executive Club Member provided BA with a valid United States address at the time of booking.
Qualifying members should have received a "Class Notice" in the mail or in an email titled "Dover v. British Airways Fuel Surcharge Class Action Notice." This notice provides a Unique ID which can be used to look up your individual offer.
Didn't get a notice? Well, unfortunately, frequent flyers who redeemed miles through another program (i.e. American Airlines AAdvantage) aren't members of this class action suit. The class also excludes those that only used the "Cash + Avios" option as well as "BA’s officers, directors, employees" and their immediate family members. For clarification on eligibility, you can call 1-833-261-2496 or email email@example.com.
Settlement Class Members have two choices for compensation: Avios or the "Cash Option." The Avios option is the default and all eligible class action members will receive the following unless they submit a Cash Option claim:
- 12,500 Avios: 1 qualifying Avios redemption
- 20,000 Avios: 2-5 qualifying Avios redemption
- 35,000 Avios: 6+ qualifying Avios redemption
The Cash Option is equal to 16.9% of the total fuel surcharges paid during the November 9, 2006 to April 17, 2013 covered period. But, don't worry about pulling old ticket confirmations to compute your potential offer. The math has already been done for you. Just enter your Unique ID from your Class Notice on this page to see your options. For help deciding which option your should choose, here are TPG's current valuations of the Avios options:
- 12,500 Avios @ 1.5 cents each = $188
- 20,000 Avios @ 1.5 cents each = $300
- 35,000 Avios @ 1.5 cents each = $525
Note that you must be an active Executive Club member to get the Avios option. Members that paid BA fuel surcharges during the period and no longer have an Executive Club account must file for the Cash Option or receive nothing:
If you are a Former Executive Club Member and do not take any action, you will not receive anything under the Settlement. However, if the Settlement is finally approved, you will be bound by the Court’s Final Judgment and the release of claims explained in the Settlement Agreement.
Deadlines: The deadline for submitting a Cash Option claim is July 29, 2018. Otherwise your settlement will default to the Avios option. If you want to opt out of the settlement and preserve your right to sue, your exclusion notice must be received by July 6, 2018.
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