Woman poses herself in legal battle with BA and wins

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A British Airways passenger represented herself in a lawsuit with the airline over the reimbursement of airfare and won the case.

Jenny Barber booked two return flights to Japan in January 2020 and her flights were due to depart in May of that year. However, they were later canceled due to Covid restrictions.

In March 2020, the airline offered travel vouchers to Ms Barber.

By December, it was clear that Japan, where Ms Barber had previously lived, would no longer open its borders this year. She subsequently asked BA to return the money to her in lieu of the vouchers, but the request was denied by the airline.

Throughout 2021, Ms. Barber has repeatedly requested refunds for tickets without success. In February 2022, she decided to take legal action against British Airways.

Ms Barber represented herself in court in January 2023 after discovering the Law Reform (Canceled Contracts) Act 1943 while researching in her local library. The only legal qualification she has is the level of law.

The law states that since her ticket is considered a “contract governed by English law” which then becomes unusable, Ms Barber is legally entitled to a full refund.

In an interview with BBC newsMs Barber said: “If you are an ordinary person who is not a professional lawyer, going up against someone like British Airways is scary – and it’s scary.”

Ms Barber’s case was heard on 20 January 2023 in Redditch Magistrates’ Court. The court awarded her £2,523.42, which covers airfare, accrued interest and additional costs.

Explaining that she “didn’t think it was right” because her refund request was denied by British Airways, Ms Barber now hopes to help others facing similar issues on the Facebook forums.

“If I can give money back to more people… I think that’s the perfect result,” she said.

This was reported by British Airways. Independent: “We were the first British airline to offer customers unprecedented flexibility to change their plans during the pandemic by providing them with vouchers for future travel. Customers can use these vouchers until September 2023 to give them as much time as possible to change their travel schedule.”

Japan’s borders fully reopened in November 2022.

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