According to BBC News, a woman defending herself in court using an 80 year old contract legislation, has won against British Airways in a dispute over flight vouchers.
In January 2020, Jennie Barber booked two return flights to Japan departing in May but the flights were later cancelled due to Covid restrictions. British Airways issued a refund in the form of travel vouchers; however, Ms Barber wanted her money back. British Airways refused this request.
Ms Barber requested the vouchers in store credit to the value of her flights in March 2020, after Japan closed its borders to foreign travellers during the first wave of the pandemic.
However, as Japan did not open its borders to visitors as quickly as other nations, Mrs Barber rendered the vouchers useless as she could not travel to where she originally intended.
By December 2020, with Japan’s borders remaining closed, Mrs Barber requested a cash refund from British Airways, but her request was denied. After repeated approaches to the airline failed, she decided to mount a legal challenge. However, taking on an airline can be daunting; “if you’re an ordinary person who isn’t a lawyer, going up against someone like British Airways is scary and it’s intimidating,” said Ms Barber.
Armed with an A-level in law from City College in Coventry, MS Barber began to conduct research at her local library. It was here she found out about the law she used to make her case, having found a legislation stating that because the sale involved, through no fault of her own, something that was subsequently impossible to deliver, she discovered she was legally entitled to her money back.
Ms Barber has now represented herself in court against the airline and has won a full refund. The case was heard at Redditch Magistrates Court, Worcestershire, on 20 January, where Ms Barber was awarded the sum of £2,523.42 to cover flights, interest up to the date of judgment and costs.
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