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Fuel Surcharges Class Action

Fuel Surcharges Class Action

Slater and Gordon is conducting a class action in the Federal Court of Australia on behalf of certain travel agents to recover commission on the fuel surcharges imposed by airlines on international published airfares. The representative applicant is Leonie’s Travel Pty Ltd.

1. The Claim

In May and June 2004 Qantas and most international airlines flying to Australia introduced a fuel surcharge. The airlines informed travel agents that they would not pay commission on the fuel surcharge component of the total price paid by passengers for international air travel.

Proceedings were commenced in December 2006 against Qantas, British Airways, Air New Zealand, Malaysian Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific. The court ordered that the claim against Qantas be heard and determined before the claims against the other airlines.

Leonie’s Travel Pty Ltd succeeded in its claim against Qantas which is obliged to pay commission on the fuel surcharges component of international published fares. The court also found that Qantas had engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct in breach the Trade Practices Act 1974 by requiring that the fuel surcharge be shown on travel documents as a 'tax/fee/charge'.

The claims against Qantas and British Airways have now been finalised.

The claims against Malaysian Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific were settled on terms approved by the Court.

The claim against Air New Zealand has settled subject to Court approval.

A notice of the proposed settlement is to be sent to group members prior to 20 December 2012. Group members who wish to participate in the settlement with Air New Zealand must register their intention to do so no later than 4.00pm on 31 January 2013.  A copy of the notice can be obtained by contacting Angela.Wong@slatergordon.com.au.

The settlement will not take effect until it is approved by the Court. The parties will seek the Court’s approval at a hearing in Sydney on 7 February 2013 at 9.15am.

A copy of the Fourth Further Amended Application and Fourth Further Amended Statement of Claim can be viewed by clicking on these links:

Fourth Further Amended Application

Fourth Further Amended Statement of Claim

2. Are you a group member?

You are a group member and can make a claim if all of the following applied to you:

(i)  Between 11 May 2004 and 9 May 2007, for some or all of the time, you carried on the business of a travel agent as a corporation, with your principal place of business within Australia;

(ii)  Between 11 May 2004 and 9 May 2007, for some or all of the time, you were a party to the IATA Passenger Sales Agency Agreement; and

(iii)  At some time between 11 May 2004 and 9 May 2007, you sold international published fares on behalf of Qantas, British Airways and Air New Zealand; or you sold international published  fares on behalf of Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific.

(iv) In response to the notice ordered by the court on 20 February 2008, you did not lodge an opt out notice with the Federal Court.

If you satisfy the above criteria, you have a right to make a claim against British Airways, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific.

3. Contact Us

If you require assistance in relation to any of the above please call us on 1800 555 777 or send an email to fuelsurcharges@slatergordon.com.au. Alternatively you may wish to fill out our online enquiry form.