A great topic amongst frequent fliers is what compensation the airline owes you when things go wrong during a trip. Depending on the carrier and the cause of the trouble the answer covers a broad range of options, from a refund to free upgrades to bonus miles to travel vouchers. Those types of compensation are generally used to cover things like the in-flight entertainment system breaking or a flight being delayed or cancelled.
But what if your flight comes up a couple hundred yards short of the runway due to air in the fuel lines (that’s the current theory, anyways)? In that case, British Airways might offer you a pretty impressive package: Four tickets anywhere in the world (it doesn’t say if they are in Coach of First Class) and a five year membership in the British Airways Executive Club Gold Level, giving the same benefits that BA’s most frequent fliers receive without having to do the flying part. Of course, if they aren’t flying then the benefits are worthless, and I would assume that the fine print adds something like “oh, and you can’t sue us” to the details of the package. Considering that there is discussion of a guaranteed GBP85,000 payout for the passengers without too much trouble, I’d think that settling for the four tickets and the status is a pretty poor offer. And since there’s a pretty good chance that the passengers are going to seek more than that in damages it becomes a terrible offer.
It does seem pretty reasonable relative to the $150 voucher I got on my last flight because the flight was cancelled and they rerouted me to get me home at the same time. Actually, since I didn’t have to go through the crashing on an airplane part, I’m still probably better off with my deal.
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