The UK’s leading flight compensation law firm, Bott and Co, has issued court proceedings for 90 passengers after they were delayed over 26 hours, marking what is the biggest group claim for flight compensation under EU regulation 261/2004.
The Virgin Atlantic flight from Orlando Florida to Gatwick was delayed after a failure in the fire detectors within one of the engines.
The flight was scheduled to leave on 27th October 2012 until the technical fault was discovered and passengers were left stranded for several hours until they were put up in a nearby hotel. Having not been offered any food until breakfast the following morning passengers, they then left the hotel at 2:30pm but due to further delays the flight did not depart until 9:35pm that evening.
Most of the claimants kept in touch via a Facebook page set up by one of the passengers, James Fell, which kept everyone up to date with their efforts to claim compensation directly through Virgin Atlantic. Despite the huge delay, and many passengers being left hundreds of pounds out of pocket, Virgin Atlantic offered just £50 worth of air miles as compensation.
The airline tried to claim that the technical fault was an “extraordinary circumstance” so was exempt from compensation under EC Regulation 261/2004 but Bott and Co strongly believe the issue could easily have been prevented.
Bott and Co are delighted to be acting for the passengers in this matter…the passengers have been left with no alternative other than to instruct us to enforce their legal rights through the Courts.
Andrew Peters, legal manager at Bott and Co said: “Bott and Co are delighted to be acting for the passengers in this matter. What we consider to be legitimate claims for compensation have been denied and in our view the issue is clear cut and the passengers have been left with no alternative other than to instruct us to enforce their legal rights through the Courts. The cumulative value of this claim exceeds £50,000 and is one of, if not the, biggest claims for delayed flight compensation that we know of.”
James Fell, a passenger on the flight said: “Virgin Atlantic ground staff were rude, did not keep us informed of what was happening and there was no sign of any Virgin Atlantic representation at the hotel. This led to a collective feeling of anger at how we were being treated and it was at this point I decided that a Facebook page would be the best way to keep in touch so started gathering email addresses. What we would like now is for someone at Virgin Atlantic to answer our questions as to why they feel it is acceptable to treat its passengers this way. The facts remain that the first of the three successive faults occurred in the UK, days before the aircraft left Gatwick then again as it flew to the US. In my opinion they have failed to do everything in their means to avoid the delay and failed in their duty of care to the passengers.”
Notes to Editors
- Bott and Co is a solicitors firm based in Wilmslow, Cheshire and specialising in personal injury and flight delay compensation.
- The company was founded in 2001 by David Bott, Paul Hinchliffe and Gary Froggatt.
- Bott and Co employ 75 staff and a quarter of those staff have received funding for training or career development from the company.
- The business had a turnover of £11.8m in 2012/13
- Bott and Co won CILEx Employer of the Year in 2010, Modern Law’s Team of the Year and Rising Star in 2013 and the Law Society Excellence Award in Business Development and Innovation 2013.
- David Bott is a past president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).
- Bott and Co is one of the most productive law firms in the country, ranking 4th for revenue per lawyer in The Lawyer’s UK200 in 2012.
About Bott and Company
Bott and Company is a specialist consumer rights law firm founded in 2001 by David Bott, Paul Hinchliffe and Gary Froggatt and was one of the first firms to be granted Alternative Business Structure (ABS) status.
The Company believes in delivering a great value and high quality legal service to its customers and is committed to maintaining ethical conduct at all times.
Modern Law Awards
Bott and Co were shortlisted in five categories for the 2013 awards including Innovation of the Year and ABS of the Year, winning Team of the Year and Rising Star awards.
Law Society Excellence Awards
Winners of Excellence in Business Development and Innovation award, also shortlisted for Junior Lawyer of the Year and Excellence in Marketing and Communications in 2013. Bott and Co were shortlisted for a practice management award in 2007 at the Law Society Excellence Awards.
Investors In People
We continue to be accredited as an Investor in People and receive regular audits to ensure we comply with this kitemark
The quality and high standard of the business and the practice management is demonstrated with the award of the Lexcel Practice Management Accreditation from the Law Society.
Manchester Legal Awards – Law Firm of the Year
We are proud to have been a finalist in the category of Law Firm of the Year at the Manchester Law Society legal awards 2012.
ilex Employer of the Year 2010
Bott and Co won the ilex Employer of the Year in 2010 due in large part to our unique internal training programme – Bott Academy
About Regulation 261/2004
The European Union has published a universal form that can be used for filing complaints in relation to Regulation 261/2004 (air passenger rights). This form must be accepted under European law by ALL airlines and ALL European national enforcement bodies.