Legal experts have put the cost of British Airways’ weekend of chaos at up to £150 million – without taking into account potential damage to its reputation
Law firm Bott & Co has estimated that around 800 BA flights per day leave Heathrow and Gatwick, with compensation for the IT crash standing at £100 million and care and assistance to stranded passengers costing another £50 million - more than 10% of parent company IAG’s £1.4 billion profits last year.
Coby Benson, Bott & Co’s flight delay legal manager, said passengers would definitely be entitled to compensation, as BA could not use the ‘extraordinary circumstances’ clause.
“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.”
Benson added: “BA 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.”
The IT crash came only 24 hours after BA quietly announced on Friday afternoon that it was introducing an £8 per fare component fee for GDS bookings from November.
The carrier is also debating the future of its Manchester and Newcastle call centres amid claims that jobs there could be outsourced.
BA boss Alex Cruz was largely absent from the media over the weekend, but appeared on Sunday to say he would not be resigning. Attempts by TTG to call BA’s media team over the weekend were unsuccessful.