Airlines BA and Virgin pay flight refunds
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic will have to pay millions of pounds compensation to passengers after fixing prices for fuel surcharges.
Around eight million passengers in the UK and USA are thought to be entitled to compensation. They will receive refunds of one-third of the fuel surcharge, worth between around £1 and £11.50, for each flight made with BA and Virgin between 11 August 2004 and 23 March 2006.
A class action lawsuit against the airlines was taken by law firm Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld and Toll in the US. It sets a legal precedent by also applying to UK passengers.
This is the first time non-US citizens have been rewarded on an equal footing to US citizens in a case before the US courts, making this a legal precedent and a significant milestone in both US and UK legal history, explains senior partner, Michael Hausfeld.
We are delighted to have achieved such a terrific settlement for consumers. BA and Virgin overcharged their customers for almost two years, and this settlement recovers 100% of that unlawful overcharge with no deductions for attorneys fees or other costs, adds Hausfeld.
Passengers who bought their tickets in the UK are asked to visit the website airpassengerrefund.co.uk to claim their refund. Funds of £73.5 million have been made available in the UK to pay refunds, plus $59 million in the US. Unclaimed funds in the US will go to the charity Miracle Flights for Kids.
BA has already been fined £121.5 million by the OFT for breaching competition law, plus $300 million by the US Department of Justice. Virgin escaped fines because its lawyers blew the whistle when they uncovered the price fixing.
Written by: Nick Purdom
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