An EU Reg. 261/2004 tale

Old Mar 8, 13, 12:00 pm
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Thumbs down An EU Reg. 261/2004 tale

So, a friend of mine flew LHR-SIN-PER in Y in February last year and a delay to the LHR-SIN sector due to a technical issue with the aircraft meant a missed connection and over 13 hours delay in arriving at PER. She made a compensation claim under EU Regulation 261/2004 for EUR 600, but this was refused by SQ on the basis that a delay did not give rise to a compensation obligation, even when a reasoned response was given as to why this was legally wrong.

Following the decision in October of the European Court of Justice in Nelson v
Lufthansa and TUI Travel v CAA, which put the point beyond any doubt, she wrote again asking for compensation.

SQ did not reply until last month, saying:

Without Prejudice
Pursuant to Article 6 & 7 of Regulation EC261/2004 for flights departing an EU airport, you are entitled to a payment of EUR600 (£507), following the delayed departure [...]

Please fill in the attached Release and Indemnity (R&I) form and return to me to facilitate payment. [...]

Singapore Airlines will only process your claim upon receipt of a signed Release and Indemnity form.
The attached form included the following, which my friend was asked to sign:

I the undersigned _________________________ hereby declare that I accept from Singapore Airlines Limited the sum of EUR€600 in final and complete settlement of all claims of whatsoever nature or howsoever arising that we may have now or in future have against Singapore Airlines Limited, its servants and agents arising out of or in connection with flight [...].

And in consideration of the said payment I hereby agree to indemnify Singapore Airlines Limited, its servants and agents from and against all further claims by whomsoever made in respect of the said loss and/or damage. I accept that the said payment is made without prejudice and without any admission of liability on the part of Singapore Airlines.

[my emphasis]
I naturally told her that she should refuse to provide an indemnity, as they were legally required to pay the compensation, so she deleted the underlined wording and returned the form, to which she received the following reply:

Without Prejudice

Thank you for returning your Release and Indemnity form. However, I regret we are unable this [sic]. Any Release and Indemnity form must be signed and returned in the original version without amendments or annotations.

Therefore, please kindly complete and post to me again your Release and Indemnity (R&I) form.
This is outrageous! If they were e.g. a financial services company they would never get away with sending such an email.

Has anyone else received the same? My suggestion was to refuse to sign the form and give them 14 days to pay before beginning county court proceedings. I would also be off to the newspapers in the meantime.
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Old Mar 8, 13, 12:11 pm
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I'm not a lawyer and this is not legal advice.

It seems to me that your friend is receiving the EUR600 for which they are asking. Singapore is asking them to sign a declaration stating that the claim is considered settled and there will be no future claims resulting from that specific incident. It doesn't mean your friend can't pursue a future claim against Singapore should future damages be incurred.

I do not see any risk inherent in signing the document, at the end of the day your friend is getting the 600EUR
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Old Mar 8, 13, 3:30 pm
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Originally Posted by mgiarc View Post
Has anyone else received the same? My suggestion was to refuse to sign the form and give them 14 days to pay before beginning county court proceedings. I would also be off to the newspapers in the meantime.
They are standard language.

My advice - sign it.

FWIW - your friend's legal right has not been diminished by that.
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Old Mar 8, 13, 6:29 pm
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Originally Posted by mgiarc View Post
So, a friend of mine flew LHR-SIN-PER in Y in February last year and a delay to the LHR-SIN sector due to a technical issue with the aircraft meant a missed connection and over 13 hours delay in arriving at PER. She made a compensation claim under EU Regulation 261/2004 for EUR 600, but this was refused by SQ on the basis that a delay did not give rise to a compensation obligation, even when a reasoned response was given as to why this was legally wrong.

Following the decision in October of the European Court of Justice in Nelson v
Lufthansa and TUI Travel v CAA, which put the point beyond any doubt, she wrote again asking for compensation.

SQ did not reply until last month, saying:



The attached form included the following, which my friend was asked to sign:



I naturally told her that she should refuse to provide an indemnity, as they were legally required to pay the compensation, so she deleted the underlined wording and returned the form, to which she received the following reply:



This is outrageous! If they were e.g. a financial services company they would never get away with sending such an email.

Has anyone else received the same? My suggestion was to refuse to sign the form and give them 14 days to pay before beginning county court proceedings. I would also be off to the newspapers in the meantime.
Ridiculous. Newspapers? You sound like a vexatious litigant. She's getting the money she's due. They simply want acknowledgment that the claim is settled in fully and finally. Quite reasonable and normal.
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Old Mar 8, 13, 6:45 pm
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Does BA require pax to sign such forms when they submit 261?
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Old Mar 8, 13, 8:24 pm
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Cool

OP gave some poor advice to the friend. The friend is getting the maximum specified, so there's nothing more to come. The release gets rid of the whiners who com back for more (the meal voucher only paid for two eggs and I wanted three....)
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Old Mar 9, 13, 3:32 am
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Agree with the others. Seems to be quite reasonable to me.
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Old Mar 9, 13, 3:38 am
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I have no problem with the release, but I do have a problem with the widely-drawn and potentially unlimited indemnity (the underlined text I suggested deleting). Admittedly, it is difficult to see what claims the airline could have against my friend, but why should she agree to indemnify them when she is entitled to be paid the compensation without doing so?
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Old Mar 9, 13, 5:18 am
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Originally Posted by mgiarc View Post
Admittedly, it is difficult to see what claims the airline could have against my friend, but why should she agree to indemnify them when she is entitled to be paid the compensation without doing so?
What SQ really means (even you are correct) your friend is obligated to help SQ to defend.
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Old Mar 9, 13, 6:36 am
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Originally Posted by mgiarc View Post
I have no problem with the release, but I do have a problem with the widely-drawn and potentially unlimited indemnity (the underlined text I suggested deleting). Admittedly, it is difficult to see what claims the airline could have against my friend, but why should she agree to indemnify them when she is entitled to be paid the compensation without doing so?
The fact is that this is a credit to SQ's customer service. SQ would be well justified in simply doing nothing when it received the altered form back. OP's friend would never receive compensation, SQ would never pay it and no court would ever fault SQ. Giving the pax a second chance to do the right thing is a smart move.
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Old Mar 9, 13, 7:27 am
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If your friend is a Uk resident, there's a few online companies that do these type claims for less than 100 pounds... if your friend is planning to come back to uk for at leat 1 month, you could file a small claims...

knowing SQ, they will produce that document, saying they have tried to accomodate the request out of goodwill, saying they are not obliged to as they are not a Uk carrier and so forth..... the court will charge interest rate payable by SQ UK.... it just depends on how long you wish to drag it for.... If your friend has no intention to take sq anytime soon and there is no other anxillary issues such as medical claims, that will be ok...just take the money. the waiver was simply stipulated by the SIN office and most of the time, the default answer to the customer is always no.
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Old Mar 9, 13, 10:30 am
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Originally Posted by chasingthedream View Post
If your friend is a Uk resident, there's a few online companies that do these type claims for less than 100 pounds... if your friend is planning to come back to uk for at leat 1 month, you could file a small claims...

Is there also some companies in Italy and Poland who could help in such cases?
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Old Mar 9, 13, 10:38 am
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Originally Posted by chasingthedream View Post
If your friend is a Uk resident, there's a few online companies that do these type claims for less than 100 pounds... if your friend is planning to come back to uk for at leat 1 month, you could file a small claims...

knowing SQ, they will produce that document, saying they have tried to accomodate the request out of goodwill, saying they are not obliged to as they are not a Uk carrier and so forth..... the court will charge interest rate payable by SQ UK.... it just depends on how long you wish to drag it for.... If your friend has no intention to take sq anytime soon and there is no other anxillary issues such as medical claims, that will be ok...just take the money. the waiver was simply stipulated by the SIN office and most of the time, the default answer to the customer is always no.
What would you get from small claims court? They would get SQ to try to pay your (OP's) friend again, exactly the same way as before. They have accommodated the request for compensation, and if you refuse it there's not much that the court could or should punish them for.
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Old Mar 9, 13, 11:32 am
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+1 - This thread may be the best example of fighting about nothing I've seen in quite a while. Anytime there is a dispute, you have to ask yourself what you're looking for. Here, it's Eur 600. That's what SQ is offering.

Now, if SQ offered Eur to end the dispute, you would have to ask yourself whether it's worth Eur 100 to end the thing now or to continue fighting.

But, when you're offered what you seek, not sure what the fight is about. Here's a strategy:

1. Sign form
2. Enjoy compensation
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Old Mar 9, 13, 4:13 pm
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Calm down dear (OP)
1) sign the form, return it to SQ, get the cash
2) while waiting for said cash, read Art. 12 (1) and Art. 15 (1) of reg. 261/2004
3) if any further compensation were due, it remains enforceable. SQ can deduct the EUR 600 they paid under 261/2004
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