Dr David Fotheringhame (pictured right), 50, from south London won his case at Croydon County Court after asserting British Airways (BA) was wrong to offer him vouchers. IT worker David was refunded the £283 he’d paid pre-Covid for return flights for himself from London to Barcelona for a cycling trip in June 2020. He was also awarded £50 for his court costs.
David says he was “steered towards” taking a voucher by the airline. He believes he was encouraged to apply for a cash refund online yet there was no mechanism to do this, and when he tried calling the phone was never answered. In “desperation”, David selected the voucher online but immediately submitted an official complaint asking for a cash refund saying he’d taken the voucher “under protest”.
When BA turned down David’s request to swap the voucher for cash, he took the airline to court. David said: “I honestly think that anyone could do this and you don’t need to have any experience of the court system. There’s no more work involved in doing this than there is to write a letter, but the effect is way more consequential. It’s very easy for people to access justice and it gives the little guy a real chance.”
The decision on David’s complaint isn’t legally binding for others but it could be used as an example of case law when bringing similar complaints to court. We’ve heard from other MoneySavers who say they too felt forced to accept vouchers for cancelled flights instead of being offered easily redeemable cash refunds.
If you are in a similar position to David, or have another grievance with an airline, here are the steps to take – with lots more help in our Coronavirus Travel Rights guide.