A family of four were travelling from London Heathrow to Sri Lanka via Abu Dhabi with Eithad Airways. The family had purchased their tickets through Jet Airways who were a marketing partner of Etihad. Upon arrival at London Heathrow the family were denied boarding. They were told that as they had purchased their tickets through Jet Airways the tickets were no longer valid. It transpired that Jet Airways had gone bust after the tickets were purchased and Etihad were no longer honouring the booking despite the family paying for them. None of this had been explained to the family prior to arriving at the airport. They were shocked!
Hayward Baker took on the case and brought court proceedings for denied boarding under EU Regulation 261/2004 which was implemented to protect consumers.
The airline defended the cases saying that the family no longer had valid booking and so could not have been “denied boarding” in a legal sense as they had rescinded the booking. They argued without adequate travel documentation they could refuse to carry the passengers.
The case went all the way to trial at Southampton County Court. The Judge at the trial found that the family did have confirmed reservations with the Defendant and that the issues the airline was trying to raise were “contractual matters” between the two airlines but that the consumer should be protected.
The family was awarded £2,084.52 in compensation.
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