Writing your Witness Statement

Writing your witness Statement

The government has some advice here.

Your witness statement is just your chance to say in your own words (use “I did” etc.) the facts of what happened.

  • Present the facts in the order they happened
  • Use numbered paragraphs.
  • Don’t give opinions unless you’re an expert.
  • Say where you got information from is it wasn’t directly known to you
  • Add any relevant documents to support your statements

Specific Arguments You might want to use

  • The law (EC Regulation 261) states you’re entitled to a refund or a voucher
  • The airlines have put expiry dates on their vouchers. This is completely contrary to the intention of the law. Any voucher must be of equal value to the ticket – a voucher that expires after a certain time is NOT of equal value.
  • Most airlines have chosen the specific rules for when and how to use a voucher. These rules are a deliberately obstructive attempt to reduce the number of vouchers that are redeemed thus saving the airlines lots of money.
  • British Airways (and maybe other airlines) deliberately removed the option to automatically apply for a refund on their website as soon as the pandemic hit. This was a deliberate attempt to prevent customers getting the refund they were entitled to.
  • The telephone lines that you needed to use to get a refund had huge wait times making them effectively unusable unless you had hours to waste waiting in a queue. As the judge in my case stated in his judgement: “a telephone line that isn’t answered is the same as no telephone line at all”. If you experienced unusable help lines you must state this in as much detail as possible.
  • The argument advanced by some airlines that their automatic refund options were overwhelmed by the volume and that was why they removed the button from their websites is absurd. To say you replaced an automated electronic system with a human on a telephone line to remove a bottleneck is self-evident nonsense. They removed the automated refund option to create a bottleneck.

Additional Public Facts

  • the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have started action against the airlines for their refusal to provide refunds not vouchers – see here. Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said: “Customers booked these flights in good faith and were legally unable to take them due to circumstances entirely outside of their control. We believe these people should have been offered their money back.”