A couple from the San Francisco Bay Area of California, United States, have instructed Bott and Co to help recover flight cancellation compensation after they were affected by the British Airways IT system failure on 27th May 2017.
Dale Harwood and his wife Karyn had been on a cruise and were flying home to San Francisco from Barcelona via London Heathrow Airport, but when they arrived at London Heathrow, all flights were cancelled.
Dale is one of the thousands of passengers affected by this British Airways issue and now has to accept that the $4,000 he and his wife paid for new flights back to California will never be repaid to him.
“There was absolutely no information provided from British Airways and we’ve had no response.”
“After being stuck in the terminal for seven hours attempting to change planes, we were eventually able to leave via UK customs and fortunately found a hotel in Windsor, which we paid for ourselves.”
“We ended up paying an extra $2,000 each for a new flight with United Airlines back to San Francisco.”
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Luggage still 5,000 miles away and $4,000 out of pocket
Four days later, and finally back home in California, the couple’s luggage is still 5000 miles away in London.
“The whole round trip with British Airways had only cost £675, now we’re out quite a bit of money.”
British Airways has said that customers were handed out a letter at the airport advising them how to claim their EU 261/2004 payment but the Harwoods only found out about claiming for compensation through research they conducted themselves online.
The BA staff made themselves scarce. No one gave me any information as there was just no one to talk to.
“Fortunately we had the experience and money funds to escape the mess at Heathrow, others didn’t.”
Not the first IT crash for British Airways…
Bott and Co calculates that BA could be forced to pay out £100m in flight cancellation compensation plus an extra £50m due for care and assistance, which includes hotel accommodation for stranded passengers and additional expenses such as couriers for baggage.
Passengers who have had flights cancelled will be eligible for compensation as we don’t consider this event to be an extraordinary circumstance.
Coby Benson, Flight Delay Compensation Solicitor at Bott and Co, said: “British Airways have had several IT glitches over the last couple of years but nothing quite on the scale of this latest crisis. Passengers who have had flights cancelled will be eligible for compensation as we don’t consider this event to be an extraordinary circumstance.
“The specific criteria for amounts and delay lengths depend on whether alternate flights were offered or not and how long the delay ultimately lasted for. British Airways can’t get away with refunding passengers and hoping that’s the end of the matter – they are obliged to provide compensation under Regulation 261/2004 and we’re already starting to help passengers recover that compensation.”
Mr Harwood said: “We’re thankful that Bott and Co is handling our claim”.
Bott and Co advise passengers to keep receipts
British Airways says it gave out some vouchers that passengers could use at shops and restaurants in the terminal but because systems were down many holidaymakers had to buy their own food and drink.
Passengers should be able to claim additional expenses that are classed as ‘reasonable’ back that they spent on accommodation and food and drink, with Bott and Co advising passengers to keep all receipts and proof of purchases.