International Consolidated Airlines Group’s (LON:IAG) British Airways unit is under threat of legal action over the recent passenger data theft, The Times has reported. The FTSE 100 group, which also owns Iberia, Aer Lingus and low-cost carriers Level and Vueling, disclosed last week that the British flag carrier had suffered a data breach, which affected bookings made between August 21 and September 5.
IAG’s share price has fallen into the red in London this morning, having given up 1.25 percent to 663.60p as of 10:23 BST. The stock is underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.09 percent higher at 7,284.46 points.
British Airways faces legal action
The Times reported this morning that legal firm SPG Law had said yesterday that it was seeking compensation on behalf of passengers for the ‘inconvenience, distress and misuse’ of their private information. While British Airways has pledged to compensate passengers for any financial loss, and to pay for a 12-month credit-rating monitoring service for those affected, the law firm argues that the British flag carrier should also pay for non-material damage.
SPG Law says that each passenger may be able to claim £1,250, potentially costing the airline £475 million. The firm has sent a ‘letter before action’ to British Airways asking it to begin settlement discussions.
Airline also in line for ICO fine
The news marks a blow for British Airways, with The Times reporting that the carrier is already facing a fine of up to £500 million from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for the breach. The ICO carrying out its own investigation, in addition to a criminal inquiry into the incident by the National Crime Agency.