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British Airways & Virgin Atlantic Airways

NOTICE OF A CLASS ACTION AUTHORIZED BY THE SUPERIOR COURT OF QUÉBEC

Have you traveled with British airways?
You might be a member of this class action

On December 12th, 2011, the Superior Court authorized Option consommateurs to file a class action against British Airways. Option consommateurs alleges that British Airways participated in a cartel to artificially inflate the price of ticket for long-haul flights. British Airways allegedly colluded with Virgin Atlantic in order to fix the price of the fuel surcharge added on the tickets price.

This class action can affect your rights, whether you chose to act or not. Please read this notice carefully.

What is the purpose of this notice?

On May 3rd, 2012, a first notice was published informing you that a class action had been authorized against British Airways on behalf of every person who traveled with British Airways, between the months of August 2004 and February 2006.

On October 27, 2017, the Court authorized a modification to the group by extending the class action to members who traveled with British Airways up to November 2006. The modified class action group is described follows:

“any person who, between the months of August 2004 and November 2006, entered a contract of carriage in Quebec for a regular long-haul flight operated by one of the Respondents, or by individuals linked to them, with a departure point or final destination located in Québec. However, a legal person, a company, or an association is only class member if it had under its direction or control no more than fifty (50) persons bound to it by an employment contract, at any time between August 3rd, 2006 and August 3rd, 2007, and who is not linked to the Applicant.”

You might be affected by the modification made to the group description if you traveled with British Airways between March 1st, 2006 and November 30th, 2006.

If you did not travel with British Airways between the 1st of March, 2006 and the 30th of November, 2006, this notice does not concern you.

What is the nature of this class action?

Option consommateurs alleges that British Airways and Virgin Atlantic engaged in anticompetitive practices in order to fix the price of the fuel surcharge on their long-haul flights.According to Option consommateurs, these anticompetitive practices led to an artificial increase of the price of tickets sold in Québec between August 2004 and November 2006, for long-haul flights operated by British Airways, with a departure point or final destination located in Québec. British Airways would have caused damages to class member through these actions.

British Airways is disputing these allegations. Virgin Atlantic settled, without admission.

Who is a member of the class?

You are a member of the class if you fulfill all of the following conditions:

  • You are a consumer;
    or
    You are a legal person, a company or an association that had under its direction or control, at any time between August 3rd, 2006 and August 3rd, 2007, no more than fifty (50) employees, and you are not linked to Option consommateurs.

AND

  • You bought a ticket for a long-haul flight operated by British Airways between the months of August 2004 and November 2006.
  • You bought this ticket in Québec;
  • The departure point or final destination of your travel was located in Québec.

If you do not meet one of these conditions, you are not a member of the class and this notice does not concern you.

Can I intervene in this class action?

Yes. The Court will allow you to intervene if your intervention proves to be useful to the group. An intervention is deemed useful if, for example, it seeks to support the action or allegations of Option consommateurs. In such a case, you may be subject to a cross examination at the request of British Airways. You may also have to pay court costs for the class action.

Are there fees for members of the class action?

OPTING OUT OF THE CLASS ACTION AGAINST BRITISH AIRWAYS

You must take certain steps in order to opt out of the class action if, for any reason, you do not wish to be bound by the class action against British Airways. This could be the case if you think you can get more money by suing British Airways yourself.

The right to opt out is only available to people who have traveled with British Airways between March 1st, 2006 and November 30th, 2006. If you are a member of the class action and have traveled with British Airways between August 2004 and February 2006, your exclusion period has expired.

What happens if I opt out?

If you opt out:

  • You will not be able to receive a compensation, should one be available.
  • You will not be bound by the class action against British Airways.
  • You retain the right to sue Virgin Atlantic and British Airways by yourself, subject to the applicable rules of prescription.

What happens if I do not opt out?

If you do not opt out:

  • You will be able to receive a compensation, should one be available.
  • You will be bound by the class action against British Airways.
  • You waive the right to sue Virgin Atlantic and British Airways yourself.

How can I opt out?

In order to opt out, you must send a letter to the court clerk of the Superior Court of Québec. The letter must contain the following information:

  • The class action file number: 500-06-000410-072;
  • Your name, address and phone number;
  • Your statement: “I am a member of the class and wish to opt out of the class action”
  • Your signature.

Your letter must be forwarded by registered or certified mail before January 9, 2018 to the following address:

Court clerk of the Superior Court of Québec
MONTREAL COURTHOUSE
File 500-06-000410-072
1, Notre-Dame Street East, Office 1.120
Montreal (Québec), H2Y 1B5

FOR MORE INFORMATION

How can I get more information?

Contact Option consommateurs or class counsel, Belleau Lapointe:

The publication of this notice has been approved by the Superior Court.

 

Chronology

August 2012

The Motion to institute proceedings is amended.

July 2012

The out of Court settlement agreement signed with Virgin was approved by the Superior Court on July 12, 2012.

April 2012

An out of Court settlement agreement, which must be approved be the Superior Court on June 18, 2012, was signed with Virgin.

Filing if the Motion to institute proceedings.

December 2011

The Superior Court, presided by Justice Daniel W. Payette, authorizes the class action against British Airways.

December 2010

The Superior Court denies British Airways and Virgin Atlantic’s Motions to adduce evidence.

June 2010

The Court of Appeal denies British Airways and Virgin Atlantic’s Motions for leave to appeal.

January 2010

The Superior Court denies British Airways and Virgin Atlantic’s Motions for declinatory exception.

July 2009

Option consommateurs joins the class action as Petitioner.

August 2007

Filing of the Motion for authorization to institute a class action.