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UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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We recently flew with Emirates from Manchester to Sydney via

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We recently flew with Emirates from Manchester to Sydney via Dubai - a change of aircraft took place at Dubai . There was a baggage malfunction and when we arrived at Sydney the luggage was still in Dubai and nobody was able to tell us when it would be arriving. Other passengers experienced the same problem but Sydney said they only had 12 telephone lines and not to try to contact them because they could not respond / cope with enquiries. They advised there were three planes a day from Dubai but nobody was able to tell us which one ( if any ) our luggage would be on. It was also indicated that in order to reduce the number of complaints the first deliveries would be to those nearest to the airport. We transferred to our Lilianfels hotel some 1 1/2 hrs away for a three night stay and all we had was the clothes we were stood up in. We are in our late 60's and were tired because of the lenghty flight.The situation caused anxiety mainly because of the lack of a communication channel re the missing cases - this was also heightened by our knowledge that @ 8am on the fourth day we were flying to Aukland , New Zealand and immediately driving 4 hours north to the Bay of Islands ( start of a three week tour ) - would our suitcases ever catch us up etc ? The suitcases turned up without warning on the evening of the second day but by then the episode had spoilt our first two days. As compensation Emirates issued a non- negotiable 10,000 airmiles but this is no use to us because we have no plans to use the the airline again. We tried to explain and asked for two nights in a similar standard hotel in the UK but they will not negotiate - they won't even explain how the 10,000 miles has been calculated and have refused to answer any more of my questions.
What legal recourse do I have in respect of trying to reach a settlement other than airmiles ? If there is none have you any thoughts on how I can challenge the airmiles situation with an alternative form of compensation settlement ?

Did you have travel insurance?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, But I'm not sure whether it covers an incident such as this. My understanding is Emirates are responsible for compensation re baggage delays and this is bourne out by their non-negotiable airmiles " settlement .

Thank you.

As I understand correctly, your baggage was delayed by less than 48 hours and you would have been entitled to purchase essential things to see you through up from the time you landed without your baggage to the time you were reunited with it.

The Montreal Convention would apply here and the limit of liability for delayed baggage is 1131 SDRs or 1051 pounds but as you were reunited with your baggage in the second day, you would be entitled to much less than the maximum limits prescribed.

Unfortunately the airline has offered you 10,000 air miles which is of little or no use to you if you do not intend to travel with them again and you would need to sue them in court to get money out of them. Court claims are however stressful and cost money and you should only make a court claim if you are absolutely sure that is what you want.

You should raise a claim with your travel insurer is you had travel cover, that may be easier to do than making a legal claim against the airline in this case as the courts may say it is not in the public interest to waste courts time for a claim for less than 48 hours of baggage delay.

Hope this helps
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for the thought re travel insurance and will investigate. I recognise there is a balance to be struck if that fails - minnow against the giant !. However in order to try and persuade Emirates to reconsider would it be a legitimate ploy to threaten media coverage combined with small claims action via the Montreal Convention ? I did not raise monetary recompense but they have specifically told me they won't do it when in actual fact they are presumably bound by the Convention. They are Dubai based so am I absolutely correct in saying they are ? Sounds as if that was a mistake which I can use to my advantage and they are unlikely to want publicity over that and the Sydney debacle against two old age pensioners.

I was thinking of the small claims court and representing myself in what is a pretty straightforward case supported by written evidence.


Yes, they are bound by the Montreal Convention and you could file a small claim action against them in the UK but you would need to justify whatever money you will be claiming e.g. Costs and expenses incurred reasonably due to the delay.

Publicity always helps in such cases.

All the best
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sorry to keep flogging this but I don't want to make a mistake in respect of my next action.

All we were initially seeking as recompense was 2 days @ a UK hotel of similar standing to make up for the spoilt two days at Lilianfels. Because we thought Emirates may have UK associations the idea was they would arrange and pay. We never asked for monetary recompense. However please note we did not incur any additional costs and expenses in Australia because of the lack of suitcases.

Are you saying the Montreal Convention only allows the recovery of additional costs and expenses - in which case I can't go any further. Or can I change my line of negotiation and use the actual cost of two nights @ Lilianfels as a valuation basis ?

I am afraid the Montreal Convention only talks about monetary compensation, anything other than money is at the discretion of the airlines.

Sorry but I really do not see a good chance of you claiming for the 2 spoilt days down under. The law would have expected you to purchase essential items and claim the cost from the airline.

Hope this clarifies.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Many thanks for your guidance but because we are fed up with the way Emirates have treated us I'm trying my utmost to find a way of getting some form of leverage on them to make them reconsider the compensation. Promise you this is one last shot at it !

Forgot to mention that we travelled business class and in doing so pay for better service e.g. Chauffeur driven car to and from airport. Would it therefore be legitimate to run the argument that Emirates have broken the terms of the business class contract by not delivering our baggage in the first wave from Sydney airport. ( We were told in order to reduce complaints those nearest to the airport were dealt with first and we were 1 1/2 hours away. ). Also we asked the airport for communication re baggage delivery but they said they could not cope because of the number of passengers - however if this had been restricted to business class only they would have been able to. They may have made a mistake in adopting a blanket approach and treating everyone the same - we had paid extra and might reasonably expect to be treated differently and receive a better service.

Have you any thoughts on how a small claims court may view that argument ? Not got much to lose and sounds worth a try to me ! Would tell Emirates I'm also going to involve media etc




You may certainly try and argue the business class argument which you have raised and that you should have been given priority over people in economy class as one would reasonably expect given the higher fare you paid.

A judge may see this argument being reasonable and based on legitimate expectations.

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