Earlier this week I lamented the fact that consumers weren’t going to see any of the $550 million British Airways will pay as punishment for its price-fixing scheme with Virgin Atlantic. But not so fast, says Michael Hausfeld, lead attorney in a class-action suit against the two airlines. The admission of guilt may pave the way for legal action to reimburse flyers.
“It depends on when and how much the individual flew on these carriers during that period,” Hausfeld tells USA Today. The paper adds that “with the admissions, plaintiffs no longer need to prove collusion.” Millions of travelers could be due a cash settlement.
But San Francisco-based travel attorney Alexander Anolik tells USA Today that travelers are likely to get a voucher for $15 or $25 toward the purchase of some future flight. And that, Anolik points out, means you’d have to fly on Virgin or British Airways again to redeem your voucher, potentially selecting one of those airlines over another.
So even if the two guilty airlines lose, they still “win” in a manner of speaking.
Doesn’t really seem fair, does it?