Yesterday, I received a notice email with the Subject Header “Dover v. British Airways Fuel Surcharge Class Action Notice”.  It referred to the Fuel Surcharge Class Action website.

Who is the Settlement Class?

According to the email, “If you received the Class Notice in the mail, it is because BA’s records indicate that you may be a Settlement Class Member.

The Settlement Class includes 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.” 

What Are the Settlement Payment Options?

The email provided me with an identifier I could enter on their website to see how many Avios or cash option I could get back from the settlement.

By default, if you have active Avios account, the class settlement defaults to Avios points.  No further action is needed. Depending on “how many times you redeemed Avios during the Class Period”, you’d get between 12,500 and 35,000 Avios.

Under the Settlement, BA is automatically providing up to 2,228,677,500 Avios to Active Executive Club Members and providing both Active Executive Club Members and Former Executive Club Members the ability to elect a Cash Option.

For those who prefer the cash option, you have to specifically elect the cash option by filling out the claim form on the website.

“If you choose the Cash Option, you will receive a payment of 16.9 percent of the total fuel surcharges you paid for all award tickets you purchased during the Class Period, which equates to an aggregate payment of $27,125,000 if all Settlement Class Members choose the Cash Option.”

What Is My Potential Settlement Payment?

I plugged in my unique identifier from the email to see my potential settlement payment option.

I have gotten some great value from using Avios, so I’m likely to stick with the 20,000 Avios option.

Other Thoughts

  1. While this is a worthy class action lawsuit, I think it’s a real shame that it’s not going to result in actual changes.  British Airways admitted no wrong-doing, even though I find that it is one of the carriers that tend to impose the highest fuel surcharges.  I’ve always thought that fuel surcharge (which can go up to a couple of hundred of dollars per ticket) is excessive; fuel cost is part of the ticketing cost.  Also, fuel surcharge is often still in place even when fuel prices go down.
  2. Generally speaking, I thought the award redemption was worth it in spite of the fuel surcharge.  Like most people, I figured that it would still be cheaper than paying the full price of the ticket.  While true, it doesn’t negate my opinion that the fuel surcharge is a bogus charge.
  3. If the cash option is about “16.9 percent of the total fuel surcharges you paid for all award tickets you purchased during the Class Period” and my cash option is $83.40, that means I’ve paid about $483 in fuel surcharge.  It’s too bad the settlement period starts in 2006, because I would have a much higher cash option if it included some of the years prior.
  4. Free Avios.  Not complaining.

 

Did you also get the settlement notice?  Are you opting for the Avios or the cash option?