Some good news for consumers afflicted by the British Airways IT Meltdown over the weekend: BA has pledged to settle up.
#1: BA will cover EU261/2004 claims
One Mile At A Time reported that some passengers who filed claims under EU261 already received claim denials. Why? British Airways argued the power surge that led to the IT shutdown fell under the “extraordinary circumstance” exception, an escape clause that includes things like natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and strikes. Should delays or cancellations be attributed to an “extraordinary circumstance”, no compensation is due.
I figured BA would at least attempt to make this argument, but I am glad it has abandoned it after only a day…it was a weak argument.
#2: BA will cover tickets purchased on a case-by-case basis
British Airways has changed its tune on compensating for other air travel arrangements due to the IT meltdown.
Originally, BA stated–
If we weren’t able to offer a suitable alternative flight we would offer a full refund of any unused sectors on your booking with us, but any alternative flights booked via different carriers would be at your own expense and would have to be claimed back through travel insurance
The carrier now states it will evaluate claims on a case-by-case basis. Sure, BA could reject every single claim, but I do not think it would have announced this change in heart without some intention of honoring tickets booked on other airlines.
Remember: Be Proactive
I laid out on Monday how you can claim compensation from British Airways. Today’s change of hearts indicates BA will be more likely to pay up, but you’ll still need to seek out compensation yourself. Start with the online form in the link above and if you fail to hear back within a reasonable time, escalate directly to CEO Alex Cruz’s office (firstname.lastname@example.org, +44 20 8738 5117). I strongly recommend you start with the conventional channel before proceeding directly to the top…