It’s that time of year when you may be thinking about booking a holiday abroad but does the thought of that bring to mind hours of being squashed into an airline seat next to a large fellow passenger?
That is exactly the situation that one man faced on a 13 hour journey from Bangkok to London in January 2016. The Claimant in the case of Prosser v British Airways Plc brought a claim for compensation alleging that he had suffered personal injuries as a result of being forced to sit at an awkward angle during the course of a long haul flight due to the presence of a very large passenger in the seat next to him.
The Judge was satisfied that Mr Prosser had suffered an injury during the course of the flight but he did not accept that the large neighbouring passenger had encroached into the Claimant’s seating area. The Judge concluded that Mr Prosser’s awkward seating position had not been “forced upon him”. The Judge held that there had not been an accident suffered by him and that there was nothing “unusual or expected about there being a large person sat next to Mr Prosser”.
Although Mr Prosser was unsuccessful on the particular facts of his case in that the Judge did not find that Mr Prosser’s space was being encroached upon, his claim does leave open the possibility of further similar claims being brought against airlines in this type of situation.