BA and Virgin Atlantic pay fuel surcharge refunds

Long-haul passengers with British Airways or Virgin Atlantic are being urged to claim part-refunds of fuel surcharges for flights taken from 2004 to 2006. The rebates, which could total hundreds of pounds for some travellers, stem from a £73.5m legal settlement in 2008 over fuel surcharge price-fixing by the airlines.

About £8.2m has been paid out so far to nearly 200,000 claimants but hundreds of thousands more passengers are thought to be eligible.

“A lot of people can’t be bothered [to claim],” said Ingrid Gubbay, counsel at Hausfeld & Co, the law firm that brought the action against the airlines. “But if they don’t, the money goes back to the airlines.”

To receive a refund, individuals must complete a claim form provided by the settlement administrators (www.airpassengerrefund. co.uk or 0800 043 0343) and have until December 2012 to do so.

Typically, claimants who qualify are entitled to £10 per flight, or £20 for a return, for long-haul BA or Virgin tickets bought between August 11 2004 and March 23 2006. For a family of four who took a long-haul holiday at that time, the rebate could amount to £80 – more if they made a number of trips. In total, about 5m tickets are eligible for refunds.

To make a successful claim, passengers will generally have to provide flight numbers and dates of their journeys, or a frequent flyer number used in a booking.

The person who bought the ticket is the claimant, so individuals who put the flights of others on credit or debit cards should claim on their behalf.

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