British Airways and Virgin are being forced to launch an advertising campaign this weekend that will tell customers how to claim compensation after the airlines were found guilty of price fixing.
The historic campaign comes after law firm Cohen Milstein, which is acting on behalf of both individual and business consumers, won approval from a US court forcing the airlines to finance the campaign and alert customers to their rights to claim.
The US Justice Department fined BA nearly £150m, hours after a £121.5m fine was levied on the airline by the Office of Fair Trading, accusing it of colluding with Virgin to hike ticket pries through fuel surcharges which leapt a massive, 1,000% in two years. Virgin Atlantic was not fined as it was given immunity after reporting BA’s actions.
The ads will launch in the national press, Sunday broadcasts, key travel trade press and online travel sites, international business media and regional. It will highlight that from July 14, claims forms will be sent to customers whose contact details are held by BA and Virgin and those that have already registered online.
Martin George, who as the BA commercial director was at the centre of the price-fixing scandal, left BA last year after admitting that his department may have attempted to fix fuel surcharges with rivals.