This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

Landmark ruling spurs rise in term time enquiries

Juliet Dennis

The trade has played down consumer fears that a landmark court case will lead to holiday price hikes in school term time despite a rise in enquiries.

Jon Platt made legal history last

Friday when he was found not guilty of a criminal offence by the High Court after refusing to pay a £120 fine for taking his daughter on holiday to Florida last year. He argued he should not have been

fined because her 92% school attendance record was excellent. The case is tipped to spur more

parents to take term-time holidays without fear of prosecution. But an Abta spokesman said:

“We don’t expect this judgment to have any significant impact on pricing as it does not address the fundamental issue of supply and demand during school holidays.” Aito chairman Derek Moore

said: “Some [operators] might increase prices but I don’t think it’s going to change prices much.” The case could set a legal

precedent and prompt a change in the law. Currently schools require “regular” attendance, but in the wake of the judgment the Department for Education has vowed to clamp down to make any unauthorised absence illegal. Travel companies are already

reporting an increase in enquiries for term-time holidays. Online agency

reported an 88% increase in term-time family bookings last weekend compared with the previous weekend. Summer

holiday bookings were down 32%. Holiday deals site Icelolly said

searches this week for early June were 48% up compared with searches for the same week made before the court case. Richard Singer, European

president of deals site Travelzoo, said: “The surge in bookings of term-time holidays reflects the mild panic parents are feeling as they rush to book cheaper holidays before rules are tightened. It is a sad indictment of how ill-conceived legislation has backfired.”


5 Sousse legal claim ‘is despicable’

Ian Taylor

A leading travel lawyer has described a claim brought against Tui on behalf of relatives of victims of the terrorist attack in Tunisia last year as “despicable”.

Thirty UK holidaymakers died in the attack in Sousse in June 2015. Law firm Irwin Mitchell started

legal action against Thomson (Tui) on behalf of families of 16 of the victims as well as “a number of the seriously injured” last September. But barrister Sarah Prager, a

specialist in travel law and personal injury claims, told an Abta travel law seminar last week: “Bringing a class action against an operator that responded magnificently to these attacks is despicable.” Prager, who acts for claimants

and defendants in personal injury claims, said: “I draw the line at the Tunisia beach massacre. Tour operators stand in peril of being held liable for something over which they have no control and for which they have no insurance. “It threatens a public relations

disaster. It threatens to put people off going on holiday.”

6 19 May 2016 But she warned: “We are on the

“The claim threatens a PR disaster. It threatens to put people off going on holiday”

Prager added: “The English courts have always said there are things you cannot be held responsible for, such as acts of terrorism. That is one of the reasons insurers don’t respond to terrorist threats. “As the law currently stands

there should be no prospect of the claim being successful."

threshold of the English courts considering whether defendants can be responsible for the actions of unrelated third parties. Prager said the case “will be a test

of how much is changing”, adding: “There is a danger the terrorist claims could be successful, although I don’t think they will succeed.” The inquest into the deaths in

Tunisia is scheduled for January. Irwin Mitchell has argued it launched the claim “in the light of the known level of risk in the

region at the time”. › Abta law seminar, page 68


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72