British Airways to pay £2.4bn for customer breach settlement
07 January 2021 | Abigail Opiah
British Airways has informed the court of its plans to settle compensation claims for customers affected by its two data breaches in 2018.
Following continued pressure from the Steering Committee responsible for the overall conduct of the litigation, the airline has accepted culpability for the data breach and looks to offer compensation to affected customers.
Consumer action and data breach law firm Your Lawyers, who were appointed to the Committee at the end of 2019, unveiled that this is a victory for consumer rights and data protection.
Affected customers have less than three months to join the class action, and once the deadline to join the class action has passed, affected customers will no longer be able to claim compensation as part of the current litigation.
“News that British Airways wants to settle compensation claims, with negotiations set to take place in the first quarter of 2021, is an acknowledgement of its wrongdoing in failing to protect customer data,” said Aman Johal, Director at Your Lawyers.
“I urge all affected by the breach to come forward and join the class action before the GLO closes. While three months may seem like a long time, you could potentially be losing out on a five-figure settlement sum if you do not join in time.
“We are receiving hundreds of enquires a day as people scramble to meet the coming deadline, and we still receive a lot of enquiries from people who missed the deadline for previous actions we have been involved with and, unfortunately, we have to turn them away.”
Johal added that while British Airways is yet to make a final decision on how it intends to deal with proceedings, settling out of court will show that the business finally accepts the gravity of the data breach.
“This is incredibly positive news for the victims of the breach and for consumer rights in general, but people must act fast to avoid missing out,” he added.
“Justice will be served, and the decision will send a strong message to other big corporations that they must take data protection seriously or face the financial and reputational consequences.”
The firm said it believes that the airline could be facing a potential compensation bill of up to £2.4 billion; with almost half a million affected customers each potentially receiving an average of £6,000.
17m | Natalie Bannerman
18m | Melanie Mingas
23m | Alan Burkitt-Gray
36m | Saf Malik