BA clamping down on missed final ex-EU sector [?]

Old Jul 24, 15, 7:27 am
  #541  
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
Actually I must admit that's a part I really enjoyed! Some other posters spend so much time accusing me of being a "BA basher" that I'll admit there was something quite delightfully thrilling in being accused of being a suppot of the airline Satan for a change!
I missed the bit about you being accused of being a BA basher.

I find myself defending another poster and I really feel I shouldn't need to.

David as a new poster has posted with some qualifaction about his views on the topic. He has been very precise in his arguments. That exposes him very clearly to cogent responses about the precise comments he makes. Just telling him he is wrong without offering precise responses just doesn't really cut it. Focussing on his lack of FT experience with respect to the Amassador role seems a bit of a diversion from the meat of what he has been saying.

I hope he continues to post with his brand of humour, knowledge and fun and that he isn't bullied away. He at least put's his opinion on the line and says what his background is (as I have done) and says why he makes the conclusions he has done - which is a lot more than many do.

I do so hope I don't disagree with him though!

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Old Jul 24, 15, 7:32 am
  #542  
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Originally Posted by NickB View Post
May I invite you to consider this judgment of the BGH and in particular the recognition by the BGH of the legitimate interest of the carrier in protecting its fare structure and reconsider whether you are really that sure that German jurisdictions would be so averse to allow contractual provisions that permit re-faring in case of using coupons in the wrong order or failing to use all coupons?
The German findings in future about fare structures etc will still transaction and by transaction have to be EU regulation compliant. The arguments you put forward could only be evaluated once they have past the clarity test at the point of booking. If the airline didn't give a precise warning when booking all the following arguments are moot. I think that the thread keeps overlooking the clarity issue.

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Old Jul 24, 15, 7:42 am
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Wirelessly posted (iPhone 3G: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 8_4 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/600.1.4 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/8.0 Mobile/12H143 Safari/600.1.4)

It's unfortunate that the FT rules are not clearer & more specific on when and how "skin in the game"/potential conflicts of interest are declared.
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Old Jul 24, 15, 7:53 am
  #544  
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Originally Posted by uk1 View Post
The German findings in future about fare structures etc will still transaction and by transaction have to be EU regulation compliant. The arguments you put forward could only be evaluated once they have past the clarity test at the point of booking. If the airline didn't give a precise warning when booking all the following arguments are moot. I think that the thread keeps overlooking the clarity issue.

On EU compliance, the relevant German legislation and caselaw uses the same test of good faith that you find in the UTCC Directive.
I would agree with you that there is a potential issue with clarity and it is the more promising argument but it is anything but black and white. Clearly, you cannot highlight every single clause in a contract in the booking process. On balance, I would agree that there is probably a reasonable case based on the UCCTRs (or corresponding provisions implementing the UTCC Directive in other EU Member States) but it is imo not an open-and-shut-book case
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Old Jul 24, 15, 7:59 am
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Originally Posted by Tobias-UK View Post
I have received a number of messages alerting me that an individual on my FlyerTalk ignore list has, yet again, taken the opportunity of trying to poke me and demean. It is sad he finds it necessary but I will not now, nor in the future, respond to his goading.
But, with those key presses, you did just that
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Old Jul 24, 15, 8:06 am
  #546  
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Originally Posted by NickB View Post
On EU compliance, the relevant German legislation and caselaw uses the same test of good faith that you find in the UTCC Directive.
I would agree with you that there is a potential issue with clarity and it is the more promising argument but it is anything but black and white. Clearly, you cannot highlight every single clause in a contract in the booking process. On balance, I would agree that there is probably a reasonable case based on the UCCTRs (or corresponding provisions implementing the UTCC Directive in other EU Member States) but it is imo not an open-and-shut-book case
The reason why there is a clarity clause (we were invited to and therefore provided specific evidence to the uk sub-committee on this issue ......) is not just about ensuring that an individual is given the informed opportunity to proceed or not at the point of commitment about what he is agreeing to but equally importantly it is to be a longer term coercive instrument to force simpler terms and conditions on organisations.

It is and was felt that if there is a conflict between commercial imperatives that lead to complexity or clarity at the point of commitment then basically the consumer wins and organisations have to simplify and find another way. That is the dual role of the clarity mandates. Clarity at the point of commitment and long-term simplifaction of rules and clauses. In other words if you want complex rules you have to make them very clear at the point of commitment - or find another way.

I'm not sure I have been clear .... but I hope you got the reason why the conflicting simplicity imperative is not of equal importance but takes precedence over the preservation of complex commercial argument.

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Old Jul 24, 15, 8:59 am
  #547  
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Clarity is easily achieved. It is simply that the mindset of the lawyers who write contracts is to simply add words rather than explaining concepts. Plain English (or French, German or Urdu) is not hard. But, many lawyers find it so.

Without discussing the policy implications of hidden city or segment order, a provision which states:

"The terms of this ticket require that you fly each and every segment in the order issued. The failure to do so may result in a different ticket price with the difference due to BA."

With that language, if someone buys a ticket A-B-C and asks, "what happens if I choose not to fly B-C" or "what happens if I skip A-B and then want to fly B-C," the answer is crystal clear and contains no language beyond the intellectual means of a reasonable non-lawyer.
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Old Jul 24, 15, 9:05 am
  #548  
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Clarity is easily achieved. It is simply that the mindset of the lawyers who write contracts is to simply add words rather than explaining concepts. Plain English (or French, German or Urdu) is not hard. But, many lawyers find it so.

Without discussing the policy implications of hidden city or segment order, a provision which states:

"The terms of this ticket require that you fly each and every segment in the order issued. The failure to do so may result in a different ticket price with the difference due to BA."

With that language, if someone buys a ticket A-B-C and asks, "what happens if I choose not to fly B-C" or "what happens if I skip A-B and then want to fly B-C," the answer is crystal clear and contains no language beyond the intellectual means of a reasonable non-lawyer.
As I have explained, I am afraid that vagueness probably doesn't cut it. It is almost the same as saying "read the small print and go away and do the calculations for yourself as to what you might be letting yourself in for". It is exactly what the regulations are trying to dispense with. It has to be clear and precise and not vague in the way you suggest. In my view a precise figure has to be stated with a very clear description before you confirm, what will trigger it. Particularly where it is counter intuitive like less costs you more. It is an online transaction and asking questions through vagueness isn't an option.

Few customers are FT'ers and less costing you more is not something they would understand unless spelt out. If it cannot be spelt out, then I think it unenforceable.


Last edited by uk1; Jul 24, 15 at 9:11 am
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Old Jul 24, 15, 9:45 am
  #549  
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Originally Posted by uk1 View Post
As I have explained, I am afraid that vagueness probably doesn't cut it. It is almost the same as saying "read the small print and go away and do the calculations for yourself as to what you might be letting yourself in for". It is exactly what the regulations are trying to dispense with. It has to be clear and precise and not vague in the way you suggest. In my view a precise figure has to be stated with a very clear description before you confirm, what will trigger it. Particularly where it is counter intuitive like less costs you more. It is an online transaction and asking questions through vagueness isn't an option.

Few customers are FT'ers and less costing you more is not something they would understand unless spelt out. If it cannot be spelt out, then I think it unenforceable.

Perhaps I wasn't clear. The language I suggested only explains the concept. Needless to say, a proper e-ticket receipt should show exactly what the ticket costs as well as it's constituent parts.

A good example may be found in US DOT rules which require that the total cost, the breakdown and the costs of certain key features such as the cost of checking the first and second bag, and change fees, be calculated for the ticket and passenger.

BA complies with these rules on all tickets sold in the US or for itineraries commencing in the US, so it is not an IT feat to make it standard.
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Old Jul 24, 15, 9:55 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Clarity is easily achieved. It is simply that the mindset of the lawyers who write contracts is to simply add words rather than explaining concepts. Plain English (or French, German or Urdu) is not hard. But, many lawyers find it so.

Without discussing the policy implications of hidden city or segment order, a provision which states:

"The terms of this ticket require that you fly each and every segment in the order issued. The failure to do so may result in a different ticket price with the difference due to BA."

With that language, if someone buys a ticket A-B-C and asks, "what happens if I choose not to fly B-C" or "what happens if I skip A-B and then want to fly B-C," the answer is crystal clear and contains no language beyond the intellectual means of a reasonable non-lawyer.
Whilst I applaud your attempt at clarity, would this really reflect the position an airline would want to be in?

Your last paragraph implies that failure to fly A-B will only result in a reprice, whereas in reality under many airlines' current T&Cs it would result in cancellation of the whole ticket.

I thought the LH response to one of the German cases was to offer a fare where the sectors could be flown out of order or not flown at all. Such a fare was priced higher than standard fares to reflect the added flexibility.

Obviously BA could do the same, but that introduces added complexity by creating another fare class, which does little to make the purchasing process clearer for the customer. On the other hand, I doubt many airlines would wish adopt as a standard term the ability to drop sectors and reorder coupons.

If you introduce "cancel or reprice" the ticket, it then becomes unclear who determines which, robbing it of clarity.

In many ways clarity is in the eye of the beholder. Something may be clear because it is very simple, you view through the prism of your expert knowledge or you fail to see the complications and pitfalls.

Don't get me wrong - the quest for clarity is commendable, but not necessary easy to achieve.
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Old Jul 24, 15, 9:57 am
  #551  
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I'm leaving for HKG in 20. Can we have a definitive answer by the time I land please ?

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Old Jul 24, 15, 10:05 am
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Originally Posted by NickB View Post
May I invite you to consider this judgment of the BGH and in particular the recognition by the BGH of the legitimate interest of the carrier in protecting its fare structure and reconsider whether you are really that sure that German jurisdictions would be so averse to allow contractual provisions that permit re-faring in case of using coupons in the wrong order or failing to use all coupons?
Before we go too far in holding up Germany as a fine example of European jurisprudence, isn't this the country that allowed Bernie Ecclestone to pay a bribe, oh sorry a fine, to get off a corruption case. Fine upstanding example of judicial judgement that we should all be pleased occurred in Europe.
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Old Jul 24, 15, 10:11 am
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About the only law that doesn't apply is UK law, as the tickets are bought and travel is started from a country in the EU. Or am I wrong ?
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Old Jul 24, 15, 10:17 am
  #554  
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Perhaps I wasn't clear. The language I suggested only explains the concept. Needless to say, a proper e-ticket receipt should show exactly what the ticket costs as well as it's constituent parts.

A good example may be found in US DOT rules which require that the total cost, the breakdown and the costs of certain key features such as the cost of checking the first and second bag, and change fees, be calculated for the ticket and passenger.

BA complies with these rules on all tickets sold in the US or for itineraries commencing in the US, so it is not an IT feat to make it standard.
Thanks --- yes .. the problem is that the ticket is issued after commitment.

I perfectly accept I do not KNOW how this would play out only that based on my knowledge of the intention this is how it should play out. The politicians make the laws knowing what they have in mind and the judges interpret them. There is then an elastic band effect when the judgments are made and consumers or organisations lobby and then the politicians clarify some way down the road to make it clearer. Although I'd put the chances high that the courts would get it right early ... these things rarely get tested because it is rarely in corproations interest to test ... so I do remain cynical and realistic and perhaps the chances are even ie more a lottery.

When subsequently I was invited to discuss the issue of pre-contract clarity more informally a point made by the group whose job was to attempt cross border harmonisation as well as primary legislation was that what this structure was intended to do wouldn't even be discussed in the US because of the total biais against consumer rights and instead the very powerful and noisy pro industry lobby and Wall Street. It was an illuminating time and it makes me appreciative of what we have here as a starting point compared with elsewhere.

We even have really strange consequences from these anomolies where for example a BAEC mile is probalby of no value in the US because of the Ts and Cs being more enforceable but the same miles having value here, such are the vagueries and inconsistencies of cross border trading. We were asked to set up and opened an office in Atlanta to service a major client there whose main function was to coach our clients about operating within consumer law and customer expectations in Europe. I wrote about the experience of opening that office and my learnings about US employment law on OMNI some time ago .... and it was a steep learning curve. Basically I employed using British standards .....

My motive has always been clear. I have never earned a bean from a consumer, but I have earned from coaching organisations that in effect their aspirations are much more closely aligned with their customers than they often seem to think. Customers want products that they understand and wish to be satisfied with (ie their expectations are met or exceeded) and they never want an unexpected nasty surprise. Organisations need to knit their needs into that and not the other way round. In an ideal world ......

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Old Jul 24, 15, 10:18 am
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Originally Posted by henkybaby View Post
About the only law that doesn't apply is UK law, as the tickets are bought and travel is started from a country in the EU. Or am I wrong ?
I believe that on any contract you usually specify the country where any legal questions will be resolved and I would expect that BA will make the UK their contractual base. However I am not a lawyer...
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