BA Fuel Surcharge Class Action

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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  • Plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in which they alleged that BA charged fuel surcharges to Settlement Class Members on frequent flyer reward flights that breached the Executive Club Contract between BA and Settlement Class Members.  BA denies that it did anything wrong, believes that the EC Contract permitted it to impose a fuel surcharge, and that the fuel surcharges that it imposed on Settlement Class Members were appropriate under the EC Contract.  Accordingly, BA has vigorously defended Plaintiffs’ allegations. The Parties, however, have agreed to settle the Litigation to avoid the cost, delay, and risk of continuing the Litigation.

  • In a class action, one or more “Class Representatives” or “Named Plaintiffs” sue on behalf of all those with the same types of claims arising from the same events.  Here, the Class Representatives filed the Litigation as a proposed class action and asked to represent a class of individuals who paid fuel surcharges on frequent flyer reward flights.  They sue on behalf of people who have similar claims—called the “Settlement Class” or “Settlement Class Members”—which in this case may include you.

    Before the parties reached the Settlement, the Court decided this case could proceed as a class action because the Court found that it met the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, which governs class actions in federal court.  While BA disputes that a class is appropriate for trial purposes, the Parties have agreed to the certification of the Settlement Class, as defined below, for purposes of the Settlement.

  • The Court has not decided which side is right or wrong in the Litigation.  Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement to avoid the costs and risks of a lengthy trial and appeals process.

    The Court conducted a settlement conference with the Parties.  This is a formal way people get together to see if they can resolve disputes with the help of the Court.  On two separate occasions in January 2018, the Magistrate Judge assigned to this case conducted lengthy negotiation sessions with the Parties.  These sessions with the Court occurred after two failed attempts to mediate the dispute with private mediators over the preceding two years.

    After extensive, arm’s-length negotiations, overseen by the Magistrate Judge assigned to the Litigation, the lawyers representing the Parties agreed to settle the Litigation to avoid the cost, delay, and risk of continuing the Litigation.  The Class Representatives and their lawyers think the Settlement is fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of all Settlement Class Members.

  • The Settlement Class under the Settlement includes: all United States resident Executive Club Members who redeemed Avios for an award ticket during 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.

  • The Settlement Class under the Settlement excludes:

    (1) Executive Club Members who redeemed frequent flyer miles exclusively using BA’s “Cash + Avios” option;

    (2) any judge to whom the Litigation is assigned, along with his or her staff;

    (3) BA’s officers, directors, employees, as well as outside counsel in the Litigation; and

    (4) immediate family of any individual excluded by 2 or 3.

  • If you are still not sure whether you are included in the Settlement Class, you can call toll-free 1-833-261-2496.

  • Under the Settlement, BA has agreed to automatically place Avios into the accounts of Active Executive Club Members.  In particular, each Active Executive Club Member who redeemed Avios for an award ticket and who paid a BA-imposed fuel surcharge will have Avios automatically placed into his or her Executive Club account, unless he or she chooses the Cash Option, described in FAQ 9. Active Executive Club Members will receive the following Avios based on the number of times they redeemed Avios for award tickets during the Class Period:

    • 12,500 Avios: for one redemption during the Class Period for which they paid a fuel surcharge;
    • 20,000 Avios: for between two and five redemptions during the Class Period for which they paid a fuel surcharge; or
    • 35,000 Avios: for six or more redemptions during the Class Period for which they paid a fuel surcharge.

    The total number of Avios that will be placed into the Executive Club accounts of Active Executive Club Members in the aggregate may be up to 2,228,677,500 Avios, depending upon how many Active Executive Club Members elect the Cash Option.

    Active Executive Club Members will not pay any money to receive these Avios.  As set forth in FAQ 20, Avios will be electronically and automatically placed into Active Executive Club Members' Executive Club accounts within thirty days after the Effective Date.

    Active Executive Club Members may file a claim for the “Cash Option,” which is a payment of 16.9 percent of their total fuel surcharges paid for all award tickets purchased during the Class Period.

    Cash Option payments will be mailed thirty days after the Effective Date, as set forth in FAQ 10.  Active Executive Club Members that elect the Cash Option will relinquish any claim they have under the Settlement Agreement to receive any Avios deposited in their Executive Club accounts at no charge.

    To determine the benefits available to you and file a claim, please click here.

  • Each Former Executive Club Member may choose the Cash Option, which is a payment of 16.9 percent of his or her total fuel surcharge paid for all award tickets purchased during the Class Period.

    To receive the Cash Option you must have submitted your Cash Claim Form by the Claims Deadline of July 29, 2018.

    Cash Option payments will be mailed thirty days after the Effective Date, as set forth in FAQ 10.

  • If you are an Active Executive Club Member and you would like to receive Avios, you do not need to do anything.  BA automatically will place the Avios into your electronic Executive Club account as long as you do not opt out of the Settlement or elect the Cash Option.

    If you are an Active Executive Club Member and would like to receive the Cash Option instead of Avios, you must submit a Cash Claim Form.

    If you are a Former Executive Club Member and would like to receive the Cash Option, you must submit a Cash Claim Form. Former Executive Club Members who fail to submit a valid Cash Claim Form will not receive any compensation from the Settlement.

    To receive the Cash Option you must have submitted your Cash Claim Form by the Claims Deadline of July 29, 2018.

  • The Court held a Final Approval Hearing on July 27, 2018 to decide whether to approve the Settlement.  Even if the Court approves the Settlement, there could be appeals.  The time for an appeal varies, and could take more than a year.

    The Effective Date is the date when all appeals are completed, and the Settlement becomes final.  You can visit this website's Homepage periodically to check on the progress of the Court-approval process and the Effective Date.  Please be patient.

    Avios deposits and Cash Option checks will be issued no more than 30 days after the Effective Date.  The Court will have the power to enforce the terms of the Settlement Agreement.

  • If you did not want to participate in the Settlement and instead wanted to keep all of your rights to sue BA individually for the legal claims included in the Settlement Agreement, then you must have taken steps to get out of the Settlement Class.  This is called asking to be excluded from, or sometimes called “opting out” of, the Settlement Class.

  • To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must have sent a signed statement to JND Legal Administration that included your name, address, and telephone number stating that you wished to exclude yourself from the case.  Your written request should have been mailed to:

    BA Fuel Surcharge Class Action
    c/o JND Legal Administration
    PO Box 91306
    Seattle, WA 98111

    Your written request must have been received by July 6, 2018.  If your request was not received by that date, your right to opt out was waived and you are bound by all orders and judgments entered in connection with the Settlement.

  • If you chose to exclude yourself from the Settlement Class:

    (1) you will not be entitled to receive the benefits of the Settlement;

    (2) you will not be legally bound by the Settlement Agreement; and

    (3) you will keep any rights you may have to sue BA individually for the legal claims included in the Settlement Agreement, as long as suit is filed before the relevant statute of limitation expires

  • If you are a Settlement Class Member, you could have objected to the Settlement if you did not like any part of it. You could have also objected to Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees and expenses. You could have given reasons why you thought the Court should not approve the Settlement or award the requested fees or expenses.

    Anyone who objected to the Settlement, the Settlement Agreement, the application for attorneys’ fees, expenses, or service awards for the Class Representatives, or the other matters to be considered at the Final Approval Hearing may have appeared and presented such objections. To be permitted to do so, however, you must have, on or before July 6, 2018, filed with the Court and served on Class Counsel, BA’s counsel and the Settlement Claims Administrator your written objection and included the following information:

    • Your name, address, telephone number and, if represented by counsel, the name, address, and telephone number of your counsel;
    • A statement whether you intend to appear at the Final Approval Hearing, either in person or through counsel;
    • All grounds for your objection, accompanied by any legal support for the objection known by you or your counsel;
    • Copies of any papers, briefs, or other documents upon which the objection is based or upon which you or your counsel intend to rely;
    • A statement of whether you or your lawyer will ask to appear at the Final Approval Hearing to talk about the objections and, if so, the amount of time you or your counsel request; and
    • Your handwritten signature.

    If you intended to have a lawyer present, your lawyer must have entered a written notice of appearance of counsel with the Clerk of Court no later than July 6, 2018. You must have signed your own objection. Attorneys’ signatures on objections were not accepted.

    If you did not comply with the foregoing procedures and deadlines for submitting written objections and/or any intention to appear at the Final Approval Hearing, you may have lost substantial legal rights to contest the orders or judgments of the Court entered in connection with the Settlement.

  • The Court has appointed David S. Stellings, Nicholas Diamand, Jason L. Lichtman, and Douglas I. Cuthbertson of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP as Class Counsel to represent the Settlement Class Members.  The only fees and expenses these lawyers will seek are those described in FAQ 16.  If you want to be represented by your own lawyer in this case, you may hire one at your own expense.

  • In connection with the Final Approval Hearing on the Settlement, Class Counsel will apply to the Court for an award of expenses and attorneys' fees, with the total amount not to exceed $3,750,000 in expenses and $11,095,000 in fees, which is approximately equal to twenty-nine (29) percent of the $42,000,000 total settlement consideration after deduction of expenses.  For more than five years, Class Counsel have worked without compensation on this case. During that time, they spent thousands of hours and more than $3.5 million of their own money advancing the litigation.  If the case had not settled or if it turned out to be unsuccessful, Class Counsel would have lost their entire investment in the case.

    In the event the Court declines to approve, in whole or in part, the payment of attorneys’ fees, and expenses in the amounts requested by Class Counsel, the amount not awarded will be distributed, on a pro rata basis, to Settlement Class Members who submitted valid Cash Claim Forms by the Claims Deadline.

    Class Counsel will also apply to the Court for service awards for each of the three Class Representatives in an amount not to exceed $10,000 each.  These service awards compensate the Class Representatives for their efforts and commitment on behalf of the Settlement Class during the Litigation, including sitting for depositions, producing documents, submitting testimony to the Court, and communicating with Class Counsel on behalf of Class Members.

  • The Court held a Final Approval Hearing to decide whether to approve the Settlement and whether to grant Class Counsel’s motion for attorneys’ fees and expenses.

    The Final Approval Hearing was held before the Honorable Raymond J. Dearie on July 27, 2018.

    Do not write or call the judge or the clerk concerning this Class Notice or the Litigation.

    The purpose of the Final Approval Hearing was for the Court to determine whether the Settlement should be finally approved as fair, reasonable, and adequate, and in the best interests of the Settlement Class, and to consider awarding attorneys’ fees and expenses to Class Counsel, as well as service awards to the Class Representatives. At that hearing, the Court heard any objections and arguments concerning the fairness of the Settlement or the fees that have properly been submitted.

    You should check this website's Homepage periodically to check on the date of the Final Approval Hearing, the Court-approval process, and the Effective Date.

  • No, you were not required to come to the Final Approval Hearing.  Class Counsel answered any questions the Court had.

    If you wanted to have a lawyer appear on your individual behalf at the Final Approval Hearing, your lawyer must have entered a written notice of appearance with the Clerk of the Court no later than July 6, 2018 and must have complied with all of the requirements explained in response to FAQ 14.

    If you sent an objection, you did not have to come to Court to talk about it.  As long as you filed your written objection on time and complied with the other requirements for a proper objection, the Court considered it.

  • You or your lawyer may have asked the Court for permission to speak at the Final Approval Hearing.  To do so, you must have told the Court in your objection letter that you or your lawyer would like to speak at the hearing.  You must have also complied with all of the requirements explained in FAQ 14.

  • If you are an Active Executive Club Member and you did not choose the Cash Option, you will receive Avios automatically into your electronic Executive Club account as long as you do not opt out of the Settlement. If you are a Former Executive Club Member, you must have submitted a Cash Claim Form by the Claims Deadline, July 29, 2018, as described in response to FAQ 9, to receive any Settlement benefits, because BA cannot automatically give you Avios.

    IF YOU DO NOTHING AND THE SETTLEMENT IS FINALLY APPROVED, YOU WILL BE BOUND BY THE COURT’S FINAL JUDGMENT AND RELEASE OF CLAIMS EXPLAINED IN THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT.

  • More details about the Settlement, the Effective Date, the deadlines, and your options are available in a longer document called the Settlement Agreement.

    You may view the Long Form Notice and the Settlement Agreement on the Important Documents page.

    Alternatively, all of the court documents in this case are on file and available for review during regular office hours at the Clerk of the Court, United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, NY 11201.

    PLEASE DO NOT CALL BA, THE COURT OR THE OFFICE OF THE CLERK.

For More Information

Visit this website often to get the most up-to-date information.

Mail

BA Fuel Surcharge Class Action
c/o JND Legal Administration
PO Box 91306
Seattle, WA 98111