By Staff writer
First compensation claims filed by passengers; British Airways says 'will assess any claims and respond accordingly'
British Airways could face compensation claims of more than $130,000 after one of its flights to Dubai was forced to return to London because of a “pungent” smell from an overflowing toilet.
The UK flag carrier told Arabian Business that it "will assess any claims and respond accordingly" after reports that passengers on the flight earlier this month have filed claims.
If all 200 passengers decided to seek compensation, British Airways could face a compensation payout of up to £90,000 ($134,000), UK media reported.
One claimant is UK town councillor Abhishek Sachdev, who was travelling to Dubai with his pregnant wife and two-year-old daughter, the Daily Mail said.
At the time he took to Twitter to explain how a "smelly poo in the toilet" had forced the plane to turn back and land at Heathrow.
The paper said Sachdev had decided to lodge a claim with Claim4Flights.com after being unimpressed with how BA officials dealt with the situation.
At the time, a British Airways spokesperson told Arabian Business: “We’re very sorry for the discomfort to our customers. We provided them with hotel accommodation and rescheduled the flight to depart the next day.”
The Daily Mail report quoted David Williams, director for Claim4Flights.com as saying: "We are exploring the circumstances against the Regulation 261/2004 set by the European Parliament which dictates when passengers are entitled to claim compensation for delayed or cancelled flights.
"If the circumstances are such that the delay to the flight was within the control of British Airways then each passenger on the flight could be entitled up to €600 compensation, assuming there were 200 passengers on the flight then this could cost British Airways €120,000 in compensation."