Even though they don’t have seats in the airplane babies have been recognised as passengers in a recent court ruling that is worth an estimated £10million a year to air passengers.
After a Ryanair flight was delayed by nine hours, the airline agreed to pay compensation to one of its adult male passengers but refused to pay the same amount to his six-month-old daughter, who had sat on his lap during the flight.
The budget airline argued that it should not have to pay compensation to babies who do not have a seat reservation and who are only subject to a £20/€20 infant fee.
It also said that the little girl could not have suffered trouble and inconvenience because of her young age.
But a judge at Liverpool County Court disagreed and ruled that the baby was a passenger for the purposes of the regulations.
Ryanair has called the ruling “daft” and is instructing its lawyers to immediately appeal.
It also said it might have to consider increasing the fee for an infant from £20/€20 – for which the infant is given an extra seatbelt – to £40/€40 to cover “these idiotic infant compensation claims”.
“It is absurd that infants (under two years of age), who do not pay an air fare or occupy a seat, can now apply for up to €250 EU261 ‘compensation’ for a flight delay, when their accompanying adults will already have been compensated,” a Ryanair spokesman told Telegraph Travel.
“In this case, the two parents and a sister have already received €1,200 in EU261 compensation, which is almost four times the three one-way airfares they paid of just £104. This is compo culture gone mad.”
The law firm that won the case in favour of the baby girl told Telegraph Travel that “several airlines have been trying to get out of paying the infant passenger compensation for delayed flights”.
credits: The Telegraph