Are some airlines guilty of naked profiteering?

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Ryanair Business PlusYesterday The Times ran a story about an online website called CaseHub.

The purpose of the website is to recruit people to form a class action to seek redress in particular issues. One is for a refund of APD if a passenger is unable to fly. Another is for a class action against Ryanair seeking to have charges returned for such things as correcting your name on a flight ticket, or reprinting boarding cards at the airport.

For the action against Ryanair, CaseHub has just over 5,000 people signed up. It says it needs 75,000 to go ahead with the class action, fifteen times as many as it currently has. If successful, it is upfront in saying that it will keep 35% of the monies won as its fees and to pay the lawyers it hires.

The Times even ran an editorial, an unusual thing for it to do on a travel subject and which, I think, signifies how newsworthy travel stories have become. Without mentioning CaseHub by name, it says that having to print a boarding card at an airport is “mercenary” given by those that charge and that “extra charges have the strong feel of naked profiteering.” (I would give a link to the editorial but The Times charges readers to see articles so you would gain nothing unless you have a subscription.)

My objection is not so much that people shouldn’t join a class action because some times that is the only way that big companies take any notice. My objection is that this site charges 35% of the money received if it wins the class action which is higher than is charged by many claim companies. If the company really gets 75,000 signing up for its class action, it – and the lawyers – stand to make quite a bit of money if successful.

Shouldn’t this be something that the CAA as the regulator should consider? But it hasn’t. CaseHub would argue that because politicians (who set up regulators) do nothing, some entity should and that is CaseHub.

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