FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - The BA Compensation Thread: Your guide to Regulation 261/2004
Old Jun 12, 2014, 7:18 am
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 2
Hi everyone,

Thanks to all that contribute to this thread. I have found it very useful, and thought I would share my recent experience getting a compensation claim from British Airways. Here is a timeline of what happened:

14 May 2014: My family and I were scheduled to fly on BA2167, from London Gatwick to Tampa, Florida. It was cancelled, because of an unspecified technical problem. The earliest flight they could put us on was the next day. They put us (a family of four) in a small hotel room, gave us lunch vouchers, and a terrible dinner and breakfast. We were on the same flight the next day, so we started our holiday 24 hours late.

2 Jun 2014: I sent an email via the webform, requesting compensation of 600 EUR per passenger, citing EC 261/2004.

3 Jun 2014: I received an email from BA that an "unexpected technical fault" occurred, so they were not liable.

3 Jun 2014: I replied via webform that BA were indeed liable, as technical faults were not usually extraordinary circumstances, citing Wallentin-Hermann. I said if the technical fault was indeed extraordinary, to provide evidence that, for example, the manufacturer had revealed a defect.

4 Jun 2014: BA replied that the technical fault was a problem with the wheel discovered during final safety checks, and that since the wheel was not due to be replaced, this constitutes extraordinary circumstances.

5 Jun 2014: I replied that this wheel fault was not extraordinary circumstances, as it was not due to, for example, a manufacturing defect revealed as such by the manufacturer, re-citing Wallentin-Hermann.

6 Jun 2014: BA replied that it was indeed extraordinary, citing the NEB guidance.

6 Jun 2014: I replied that the Apr 2013 NEB guidance was draft and non-legally-binding. I noted that the EU parliament vote to amend EC 261/2004 on 5 Feb 2014 ignored the NEB guidance, and added an exhaustive list of extraordinary circumstances, which only included technical problems that were formally-acknowledged manufacturing defects. I also stated that if compensation was not agreed, I would no longer communicate via webform, and the next communication would be a letter in the post discussing a court claim.

11 Jun 2014: With no response from BA (and unaware of the Huzar ruling), I sent a "letter before court action" in the post to the BA EU compensation PO box in Sudbury. I sent it Royal Mail special delivery.

12 Jun 2014: reports the letter was signed for at 8:07am.

12 Jun 2014: At 8:28am, I receive an email that they are going to compensate me 600 EUR per passenger. Success!

I have no idea if it was the letter before action that caused them to agree compensation. I wouldn't have expected a response 21 minutes after they received the letter. Maybe the Huzar ruling prompted them to start paying out? I also doubt BA would have been that quick to respond to Huzar, given it will likely be appealed.
adam007 is offline