Friday, 5 July 2013

Airline must pay up for a damaged bag, despite their general terms & conditions

We've all been through it when traveling.  Luggage mishandled and thrown about, dented suitcases.  Well, in this case a Spanish judge has ruled that the airline, Vueling, must pay compensation to a passenger for his damaged luggage.

According to Spain's El Correo newspaper, the case was heard at the Commercial Court of Bilbao recently, and the judge ordered the airline to pay €95 ($120) to the passenger.

This ruling was handed down by the judge despite a claim from the carrier that according to their general terms and conditions, they weren't liable for costs.

However, the court stated that Vueling had abused that clause, and chose to rule in favor of the passenger.

In the ruling, the judge also said terms were "not negotiated" with the passenger but were simply "imposed".

While a small win in terms of money, it does come after the passenger has repeatedly pressed Vueling for compensation.

Iñaki Velasco of the consumer rights organization EKA-OCUV, who acted for the plaintiff, said that this case has set an important precedent:

"From now on Vueling won't be able to hide behind this general condition in its contract to avoid its responsibilities."