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Facebook page helps group win flight delay payout

July 10, 2014 Headline News, Social Media No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Want to get compensation for an airline delay? Get a Facebook page together.

It worked for a group of Virgin Atlantic passengers, who set up a Facebook group to complain about a 26-hour delay. Virgin Atlantic ended up paying them the equivalent of AUD 85,600 in compensation, according to the Daily Mail.

The group of 101 passengers were delayed for over 26 hours on a flight from the US to Britain.

The airline paid up, the newspaper reported, following last month’s Huzar vs Jet2 ruling in Britain’s Court of Appeal, which ruled that airlines cannot reject claims for delays caused by technical defects. Jet2, the airline involved in that case, is a Leeds-based British low-cost carrier.

In the latest Virgin Atlantic case, the flight affected was VS16 from Orlando, Florida to London Gatwick in October 2012.

A fault in the plane’s fire detector circuit led to the passengers waiting three extra hours at the airport before boarding, and then, having boarded, being told the problem was still unfixed and they would have to get off again.

Major queues at a hotel near the terminal followed, with room keys delivered at about 2am. To make matters worse, passengers said the food vouchers they were given weren’t much use, as the hotel had insufficient food and lacked the staff to serve it.

The tired passengers were conveyed to the airport the following day, boarding almost six hours after they checked in and finally arriving at Gatwick next morning, over 26 hours later than scheduled.

The saga of the aggrieved passengers went on to involve setting up a Facebook page, contacting  with the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), lodging a claim for compensation, consultation with a specialist flight delay law firm (there is one – it’s called Bott & Co), and, finally, a pay-out by Virgin Atlantic to the tune of EUR 600 (AUD 868) compensation to each passenger.

Written by : Peter Needham

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