Tens of thousands of people have been affected by system failures at British Airways (BA) over the bank holiday.

If you are one of those poor unfortunate people caught up in the disruptions then you are probably wondering what your rights are and what the airline is actually obliged to do.

According to Bott & Co Solicitors, “If the BA system failure is a technical problem, rather than a cyber-attack, then and flight delays or cancellations resulting from the technical problems would be eligible for compensation under EU regulation 261/2004.”

Even if the event was not considered an ‘extraordinary circumstance’ then, although not obliged to pay compensation, Bott & Co says that BA would still have an obligation to provide care and assistance that includes:

  • Food and drink in reasonable relation to the waiting time
  • Overnight accommodation where necessary
  • Travel to and from the airport and accommodation
  • Two free calls, emails, or fax messages

Airliner 2 (PD)

Coby Benson, Flight Delay Legal Manager at Bott & 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. 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 261/2004 and we’re preparing for a busy week helping passengers recover that compensation.”

For more information and details on compensation amounts, please visit the Bott & Co website here.

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