A British Airways passenger has taken legal action to recover airplane head injury compensation after receiving an offer which he described as “derisory”.
The passenger – Wayne Herbert (45) from Crouch End in North London – had taken his seat on a British Airways flight from Heathrow to the United States when he was hit on the head by a rucksack as it fell from the overhead luggage compartment above him.
According to Wayne´s version of events, the passengers in the row behind him were trying to store too much hand luggage in the overhead compartment and, as they tried to manipulate the rucksack into a space too small for it, the bag fell on him.
The blow from the rucksack caused Wayne to suffer a whiplash-related injury. He was taken off the plane to be assessed by a paramedic but did not need to attend hospital. Wayne flew to the United States the following day, but claims he was unable to sit at a computer and work while he was there.
When he returned to London in November 2014, Wayne contacted British Airways to discuss airplane head injury compensation. Under the Montreal Convention, an airline is automatically responsible for any injuries sustained by passengers once they have boarded the airplane and liable for injury compensation.
However, Wayne was dissatisfied with the offer of air miles and subsequent offer of £500 airplane head injury compensation. Speaking with the London Evening Standard, Wayne described the offer of airplane head injury compensation as “derisory” and explained that he still suffers anxiety attacks because of the incident. He has now taken legal advice and made an official claim for airplane head injury compensation.
Wayne was also critical of British Airways´ policy of allowing passengers to take large items of hand luggage onto flights, and the lack of help being provided to the passengers who were having difficulty in finding space for the rucksack. “The staff certainly were not checking what people were doing and I’m suffering as a result” Wayne told the London Evening Standard.
A spokesman from British Airways told the newspaper: “Our cabin crew gave every possible help to our customer and we are still in contact with him to resolve this issue.”