And there's now the likelihood of long drawn out class actions from furious US litigants – there are no litigants more angry and persistent than American ones, egged on by the worst ambulance-chasing legal system on the planet.
Certainly BA's dodgy huddles in a corner with Virgin about price-fixing fuel surcharges were outrageous and confirm widespread suspicions that the airline industry worldwide continues as a protected series of stitch-ups and sharp business practice.
However, Virgin's behaviour leaves an equally nasty taste in the mouth. Nobody likes a sneak, least of all a grinning one. I'm sure Virgin regards its grassing-up BA to the authorities and the way they have handled the affair as a PR triumph. (As always.) Not me. Branson has an unerring record of whining to regulators of every variety. Virgin always portrays itself as the victim of playground bullying by the big guy – whether it be BA, BSKyB or rivals in the mobile phone and rail games. The high profile of the Virgin brand means that when it shrieks in protest the hacks come loyally running and scribbling, although in taking on the ruthless Sky Branson has bitten off more than he can chew.
No. On this occasion we'd like to see Old Beardie lose the smile for a photocall, don a hair shirt and actually say sorry personally for his organisation's misdeamenours.