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Couple win compensation from Thomas Cook 3 years after delay

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Couple win compensation from Thomas Cook 3 years after delay

Unread post by bimjim » Sun Nov 30, 2014

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... -firm.html

Couple win £1,500 compensation from Thomas Cook three years after five hour flight delay...
and plan to spend the money on another holiday with the same firm
Jennifer Smith for MailOnline
29 November 2014

A couple have been awarded £1,500 in compensation over a delayed Thomas Cook flight, three years after their plane was held back on the tarmac.

Michael and Gillian Vick were travelling to Barbados to embark on a Caribbean cruise in March 2011 when their flight was delayed at Gatwick Airport for five hours.

With no extreme weather affecting their travels, the couple from Sittingbourne, Kent, decided to find out if they were entitled to compensation for the inconvenience.

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Michael and Gillian Vick (pictured during a cruise on the Queen Mary 2) were awarded £1,500 by Thomas Cook for a delayed flight to Barbados

Michael and Gillian Vick (pictured during a cruise on the Queen Mary 2) were awarded £1,500 by Thomas Cook for a delayed flight to Barbados

Three years later following lengthy legal proceedings, the holiday company has awarded them £1,049 and £500 interest for their troubles.

Now Mr and Mrs Vick, who have two children, plan to spend their money on another holiday and may even book their next trip through the travel company.

Speaking of the flight in 2011, Mr Vick, 64, said: 'When we left the house in the morning it was misty but the weather wasn't bad.

'We could hear aircraft going overheard. When we arrived at the airport a few flights were delayed but for no more than an hour, including ours.'

At 10.30am, two hours after they were due to take off, the couple, who have been married for 35 years, were no closer to arriving in Barbados. 'Eventually they said it had been diverted to Stansted and we couldn't figure out why. We were sitting there watching the world go by rather than being on our way to Barbados,' the retired customer services trainer added.

After more than five hours, their flight took off at 1.40pm.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority, when your flight is affected by disruption, your airline must take care of you and get you to your destination. Once the disruption has been resolved, you might also be able to claim costs or compensation. If the disruption was caused by extraordinary circumstances, then you will not be entitled to compensation, as long as the airline took reasonable measures to avoid the disruption.

The EU law on flight compensation uses the term ‘extraordinary circumstances’ to refer to situations where delays or cancellations have been caused by things that are not inherent in the normal exercise of the activity of the airline and outside of the airline’s control.

For a full list of extraordinary circumstances which can affect flights in Europe and for which airlines should not be held accountable, visit the European Commission website here.

For more information on whether or not you are eligible to make a claim against an airline visit the Civil Aviation Authority here.

Upon return to the UK, the couple decided to put their case to the Civil Aviation Authority to see whether or not they could be compensated for the experience. 'It was more out of curiosity. We'd seen an article which said we could claim so we got in touch. The CAA said they thought that Thomas Cook couldn't use the excuse of exceptional circumstance and said we would be able to take action in county court so we did,' Mr Vick added.

After weeks of going back and forth with the company's lawyers, Mr and Mrs Vick were offered a settlement on November 26 of £1,049 with around £500 interest. 'We did it more out of hope than expectation but it's brilliant. They've done the right thing, they are a really good company. We'd never have claimed if it wasn't right but we spent hours researching things to check. If the CAA said we didn't have a case then we wouldn't have taken it on, but we were right. It wasn't our fault.'

The couple, who saved their whole lives to be able to travel when retired, now plan to spend their settlement on another trip and said they would happily travel with the firm again. 'It's not put us off flying with Thomas Cook at all, as airlines go they're not the best or the worst. They have been fair and decent with us. We'd definitely fly with them again. But we just think how many other people are entitled to the same as us?'

Thomas Cook has not responded to MailOnline's request for comment.

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