This is beyond significant…
Remember this moment. In the history of airline passenger rights, one of the most significant rulings regarding flights was passed down today. On November 20th, 2018, Spain’s Supreme Court ruled on a variety or passenger related issues, and for the first time in history passengers may have won. In short: an airline can’t cancel your ticket if you miss a flight, and you should be able to use any or all parts of a ticket as you wish, after all – you bought it all. For now, results are confined to national airline Iberia, but the implications from this supreme court ruling could play a sweeping role in unfriendly customer policies around the globe, going forward…
An intriguing case against Iberia started at the very lowest levels of the judiciary and somehow made its way to the heights of Spain’s Supreme Court. The question: are some of Iberia’s travel booking clauses predatory to consumers? The short answer: maybe. The court has now ruled in favor of passengers on a variety of issues, some not so exciting, like whether Iberia can borrow planes; and some extremely exciting like whether an airline can cancel your ticket when you no show, prohibiting you from enjoying future parts of the ticket.
No Show Cancellation
Presently, airline rules are quite simple for better and worse. If you miss a flight for any reason, all the remaining flights in your itinerary automatically cancel. This prevents travelers from booking attractive flight deals from nearby cities and missing the first segment and simply hopping on at a later time. Essentially, if you are due to fly from Barcelona to Madrid, and then onto New York and back on one ticket, if you miss the Barcelona to Madrid leg, the rest of the ticket cancels out. Spain’s Supreme Court has now officially declared that this is outside the law. In the eyes of the court, an airline cannot cancel a passengers ticket in the event of a no show, since the passenger paid for all the flights. The passengers only contract was paying, and they did that. This opens the door for a wild variety of travel possibilities.
What It All Means
Say you’re in Madrid, but for whatever reason Tokyo flights are much cheaper out of Barcelona, still flying via Madrid. You’re willing to fly to Barcelona to kick the deal off, but the idea of flying somewhere just to save some money, and fly back to Madrid to begin with seems like a grind. It is, but its one of the most common way to save on flights. Spain’s Supreme Court has now ruled that since you paid for the entire ticket, you should be able to use what you want. If you don’t happen to make it to the first Barcelona to Madrid flight, you should still be able to show up at the Madrid check in counter for your Tokyo flight and carry on. Iberia says it will comply with these new regulations, and at the moment it’s the only affected airline. The ruling should hold immediate effect.