John Barrett, a 42 year-old commercial traveller from Sheffield, has filed a lawsuit against British Airways for the emotional distress it caused him by flying him home from Thailand only a week after the eruption of a volcano in Iceland.
'We were promised at first that the disruption would go on for weeks if not months,' said Barrett, who was attending a trade fair for automotive parts suppliers in Pattaya when flights began to be cancelled. He was then waitlisted and found a seat on the second available plane when flights resumed, something Barrett has described as 'grossly unfair, if not downright unethical'.
'There were loads of people desperate to go home who couldn't put a continued stay in a 5-star hotel on the insurance or get the bars in Patpong Road to make out their receipts for a ping-pong ball show to look like you were claiming a meal,' he told reporters. 'I offered to let more needy cases go first but no, bloody BA said it was in strict order of original flight. Pillocks.'
The lawsuit is claiming £100,000 in damages for lost earnings, as Barrett was poised to buy some emeralds off a chance acquaintance in Bangkok that he could have sold on for a huge profit in Hatton Garden, apparently. It also specifies punitive damages for the distress caused by having to return before the general election is over.
Since landing at Heathrow on Wednesday, Barrett has faced the additional trauma of walking in the pissing rain to get a train full of hordes of chavs, pressure from his boss to catch up on his work and the impossibility of finding any attractive teenage girls who will do everything for under £10 in the UK. Reports that his wife has found something dodgy in his laundry bag and is making him sleep in the garage could not be confirmed at press time.