Weekend what we’re reading: Woman left on plane asleep, more travelers over Memorial Day, EU lost baggage rules

by Charlie Leocha on May 29, 2010


Woman left on plane recounts ‘horrifying’ experience

United Airlines customer service took another hit when flight attendants and pilots evidently left a woman asleep on board of a commuter flight in Philadelphia after a flight from Detroit. Now she is suing the airline for false imprisonment.

Ginger McGuire said no one had awakened her when the plane landed more than three hours earlier. She said she paced the aisle for about 15 minutes early Tuesday until the locked door opened and police demanded identification.

“Waking up to an empty airplane and not being able to get out — it was very horrifying,” McGuire, 36, told reporters Thursday as her lawyer announced a lawsuit.

McGuire said she simply fell asleep after a long trip that stretched from Detroit to suburban Washington and, finally, Philadelphia. She said the plane landed Tuesday about 12:30 a.m. EDT.

More to travel over holiday weekend using social media

Deloitte, a consulting firm, has reported that in one of their latest surveys that Americans are planning to travel more this Memorial Day weekend and during the coming summer. The news is music to the ears of airline and hotel executives.

Almost one-third (31%) of survey respondents plan to take a leisure trip during the Memorial Day weekend, up from the 24% who said they traveled a year ago during the same period. In addition, 17% expect to take a longer break than they did last year.

The firm says about 81% plans to travel by car and 19% by air, with nearly half planning to stay at a hotel and a third planning to crash with friends or relatives.

The firm says social media is playing a bigger role in travel planning, with half of survey respondents having used a computer or Web-enabled smartphone to research information about a hotel, and 16% having read a positive consumer-generated comment about a hotel/motel, which influenced their decision to book a room at that facility.

EU court limits airline baggage claims for passengers

The European Union courts denied a passenger the right to file a larger claim than that permitted by the Montreal Convention. The passenger claimed not only a loss of possessions, but also an “immaterial harm.”

The court’s decision should provide some relief to airlines, which complain that rising compensation costs are hurting the industry. Airlines contend that compensation rules generally are biased in favor of passengers.

The court said strict liability limits are needed for an “equitable balance of interest” between air carriers and passengers.

EU law on air carrier liability is based on the Montreal Convention, which sets limits on claims against airlines for loss, damage or delay of baggage to the equivalent of EUR1,134.71. The limit applies unless the passenger declares the baggage valuable in advance and pays an extra fee.

Print Friendly
Be Sociable, Share!

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Weekend what we’re reading: Woman left on plane asleep, more travelers over Memorial Day, EU lost baggage rules -- Topsy.com

  • John M

    I chuckled when I read that “Airlines contend that compensation rules generally are biased in favor of passengers.” Of course they contend that since it is in their interests to paint themselves as the victims. Anyone who has had a bag lost or damaged can tell you that it is very difficult to get the airlines to give fair compensation. The contract of carriage that most airlines use are generally written with a very broad brush that exclude coverage including electronics, jewelry, expensive clothing (think a business suit) and many other items. I have a client who was going to Europe for 2 weeks of business and on a flight from London to Frankfurt his checked bag went missing. That was the one with his suit that he had purchased from Sears. The airline in question refused to reimburse him for the suit, dress shirts, belt, ties and dress shoes because they defined them as being “expensive clothing”. This guy wasn’t asking for the airline to replace them with a Italian silk suit or anything, just the cost to replace them at a moderately priced store.

    Having had baggage damaged and trying to get it repaired, I’ve come to conclusion that it is cheaper and easier to just buy cheap luggage and replace it whenever it gets damaged than to fight with the airlines.

    Generally speaking the airlines hold the power and the traveler ends up getting abused.

  • Frank

    The contract of carriage that most airlines use are generally written with a very broad brush that exclude coverage including electronics, jewelry, expensive clothing (think a business suit) and many other items.
    ===================================================

    Interesting how alot of you travelers LOOK like Walmart merchandise while traveling, but, when your bag is lost, apparently that’s where the Gucci, Manolo’s and Prada were. Electronics/Jewelry? That and medicine should never be checked!

  • Janet

    Frank, you are so jaded. Are you suffering from burnout? I see a lot of people traveling in business wear on my flights and I myself dress business casual. I too see the people boarding in flip flops and old t shirts – especially on trip to “resort” cities, but you can’t generalize about passengers. As uncomfortable as planes are, I can see why some people want to wear their most comfy clothes (especially when you are talking about boarding unairconditioned planes). Who are you to say that they aren’t dressing up after they land and shower? I do agree that there is no place for electronics and jewelry you aren’t carrying on your person.

Previous post:

Next post: