Customer incidents may lead to flight compensation

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Thomas Cook logoMany readers will be aware that you are entitled to compensation from airlines if you are late or if your flight is cancelled. Now, the flight delay company – Euclaim – has managed to win a case whereby it appears that if a flight is delayed or cancelled during to the antics of one or more passengers, then the other passengers on that flight are entitled to compensation.

Up until now airlines were not obliged to compensate delayed travelers if the delay or cancellation was caused by a passenger, Birmingham County Court has ruled that Thomas Cook must compensate Maria Edwards and her family, following a customer incident that caused a nine hour delay on their flight back from a family holiday in Tunisia.

Lest all readers think that any passenger incident might entitle them to compensation, think again. In this particular case passengers were told that there would be a 90 minute delay which turned into nine hours. Passengers found out that the reason the flight was so delayed, was because a passenger on a previous flight – 24 hours earlier – had accidentally broken an emergency door handle and the parts needed to fix it had to be flown over from France! We later discovered that when the maintenance crew had attempted to fix it, they accidentally deployed the emergency slide, delaying us further.

It wasn’t actually a passenger incident that caused this problem it was how Thomas Cook handled the problems caused earlier. That they hadn’t resolved the issue a day later and that their own maintenance staff had exacerbated the problem may have been the reason why the court decided on its decision.

The case may not be over however. Thomas Cook may appeal to a higher court but it may be useful for readers to remember this case if they have problems on future flights.

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