People commuting through airlines may now be entitled to refunds from airlines if their return tickets are canceled by the airline when they miss their flight on the first leg. A Deputy District Judge at the Mayor’s and City Court of London ordered Iberia to refund the return leg of the ticket of a Mr. James Dove after the airline canceled his return leg of the ticket when he missed the first leg of his journey from London to Madrid.
Although it has been stated in the conditions of carriage by many airlines, the traveler, James Dove, appealed to the courts that the airline canceled his Madrid to London ticket as well. Mr. Dove missed his flight out of London by a few minutes and called Iberia to ask for his flight out of Madrid to be kept open as he would reach Madrid by another airline. However, he was told that his entire ticket has been canceled and he would have to find another way home.
The reasons why airlines cancel the return legs when the first leg goes unused is to prevent passengers from buying returns that are cheaper than single flight tickets. This is an outdated system and a survey of Iberia’s website revealed that the difference between buying a return ticket from London to Madrid and then back and buying two separate tickets was between 12 and 48 pounds. The return ticket was obviously cheaper. Legal experts say that future cases may argue for compensation for a replacement ticket from the airline.
Although Iberia was expected to appeal to a higher court and the Judge’s decision challenged, the company reported to Telegraph Travel that they have refunded the ticket price to Mr. Dove. The court decision remains unchallenged and anyone who has had the same case within the last six years may be entitled to refunds for the return leg as well.