BA (British Airways) made an announcement, earlier this week, that it would be offering a “goodwill gesture” to the passengers of a London-bound flight from the US. The passengers were stuck in the US after their aircraft ran into technical difficulties.
Over 100 of them were scheduled to fly out of Orlando, Florida on Thursday, last week. However, they were asked to exit the flight after being grounded for 4 hours. The grounding is said to have been the result of a technical problem in the aircraft.
The passengers were accommodated at a hotel overnight and were rescheduled to fly out the very next day. However, their second flight also ran into trouble, forcing the pilot to land at JFK, New York. The replacement flight was arranged only on Saturday evening. The passengers finally landed at Gatwick on Sunday morning, after going through a 77-hour delay.
According to many of the passengers, BA did not offer them accommodation during the grounding at JFK, forcing them to sleep on the floor.
Passengers Lash Out
One passenger, a Rosie Slater Watts, tweeted out that she couldn’t believe her children were forced to sleep on the floor of an airport terminal for 5 hours while BA reported that it was looking out for its passengers.
Some of the passengers on the flight were traveling with children and returning to the UK after spending their half-term break in the US.
Another passenger named Emma Hardwick tweeted out demanding that BA get them home. She described the situation as “stupid” and added that she had to get back to work and her children, back to school. Emma also mentioned that she hadn’t slept well in the last three days.
As far as EU regulations regarding delays are concerned, airlines are expected to provide food and accommodation to passengers who are delayed overnight. However, BA claimed that it was unable to find proper accommodation for all its passengers in New York due to the New York Marathon. The airline added that it did provide blankets and food to those stranded at the airport and even allowed them entry into the first-class lounges.
A spokesperson for the BA told the media that it would be contacting the passengers of the affected flight in order to offer a goodwill gesture and to honour its obligations in line Regulation EU261.
According to the regulation, each passenger is entitled to 600 Euros as compensation.
However, Emma Hardwick, one of the passengers on the flight, stated that she had not heard from BA at all regarding the compensation. She mentioned that she had only received a letter from BA, which stated that someone would contact her shortly.
BA issued a statement in which it acknowledged the frustration and exhaustion faced by its passengers and apologized for the inconvenience caused. The statement also mentioned that the diversion to New York was carried out as a safety measure due to the technical issue.
BA also noted that it did whatever possible to minimize the discomfort faced by the passengers.