Association of British Travel Agents Ltd v British Airways Plc: CA 2000

Sedley LJ described the common-law rule of contra preferentem, that any doubt as to the meaning of contractual words will be resolved by construing them against the party that put them forward, as ‘a principle not only of law but of justice’ and said that its origin and first purpose was ‘to limit the power of a dominant contractor who is able to deal on his own take-it-or-leave-it terms with others’.


Sedley LJ


[2000] 2 Lloyd’s LR 209


England and Wales


Appeal fromABTA Ltd v British Airways Plc ComC 26-Nov-1999
IATA Airlines standard agency agreement – implied terms – whether travel agents can be lawfully instructed to give the public misleading documentation describing the passenger service charge at UK airports as a tax-whether the passenger service . .

Cited by:

CitedAJ Building and Plastering Ltd v Turner and Others QBD 11-Mar-2013
An insurance company had engaged a main contractor to handle repairs to houses insured under its policies. The contractor had engaged the claimant subcontractor to carry out the works at the defendants’ homes, but then went into insolvent . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.471871