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Delayed BA passengers 'will sue'

BA tailfins
One passenger called the police from the plane

German passengers delayed due to snow at Berlin Airport are reportedly suing British Airways for the disruption.

The seven passengers have filed charges of "false imprisonment" charges, German Police told Reuters news agency.

A British Airways spokesman confirmed the flight from Berlin to London was stopped, after one of the passengers rang police on his mobile phone.

The spokesman said no writ had been received by the airline, but he said any such action would be defended.

We would apologise to the passengers but the weather is beyond our control
BA spokesman

The German passengers had boarded the plane at Berlin's Tegel airport at 0700GMT, but snow and ice delayed the takeoff.

One of the group called a German police emergency hotline number at 11.30GMT from his mobile, telling them he felt as if he was "being held against his will", the German newspaper Bild said on Saturday.

A BA spokesman confirmed the plane was called back from the runway, but could not comment on the details of the telephone call.

"A passenger called the police on his mobile, who called the control tower and the plane was called back to the stand," he told the BBC News website.

The passenger argued that he wanted to leave the plane after three passengers with hand luggage were permitted to disembark.

The BA spokesman said seven passengers in total left the plane at 12.00GMT. He said it was possible those with only hand luggage may have been able to get off first.

'Time

The spokesman said no writ had been received by the airline, but that if and when it did arrive the company would defend itself.

"We would defend it, these were factors beyond our control. When we have delays we cannot keep going back and forth with passengers because the plane is waiting for its time slot.

"Berlin is an incredibly busy airport and we cannot keep other passengers waiting."

"We would apologise to the passengers but the weather is beyond our control," he said, adding that he had no knowledge of passengers ever taking legal action for this kind of problem before.



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