Tuesday 30 May 2017

Long Weekend Flight Delays

Bank Holiday Weekend plans were quickly disrupted for many passengers travelling from either Heathrow or Gatwick on British Airways. Thousands of travellers had their flights delayed or cancelled following a massive IT failure on Saturday 27 May 2017. Today (30 May 2017) the airline has finally been able to resolve its issues, but unfortunately this has come at a high price for many passengers. Those who were lucky enough to have their flights rescheduled arrived at their destination after lengthy delays and some further inconvenienced by a lack of baggage.

Garden House Solicitors
Article by Kagowa Kuruneri
BA has set up a compensation scheme whereby passengers who required accommodation as a result of delays can reclaim the money spent on hotel stays, transfers and on food and refreshments. Reimbursements have been capped at the following rates:
  •  Up to £200 a day for hotel stays (based on 2 people sharing)
  •  Up to £50 for taxi transfers between the airport and the hotels
  •  Up to £25 per person per day for food and refreshments  

Additionally, passengers could receive up to £540 in compensation for the inconvenience caused, depending on the type of flight that was cancelled. Some may be happy to receive any form of compensation, but is this enough considering the costs of flights and the nature of consequences faced by individual customers whose flights were affected? It is also unclear whether additional inconveniences caused from missed or rebooked flights will be compensated under this scheme. Although the airline have said that they will honour any claim for compensation, this is neither guaranteed nor will compensation be automatic. You must formally apply for compensation and don’t forget that EU compensation rules may apply.

You may recall from an earlier article that the EU rules are as follows:
  • Short-haul flights must be delayed by at least 2 hours
  • Medium-haul flights must be delayed by at least 3 hours, and by 4 hours for long-haul flights
  • Accommodation and transfers must be provided for overnight delays
  • Full refunds are to be given (within 7 days) for cancellations, OR re-bookings must be made for flights cancelled at short notice
  • Passengers may receive cancellation compensation, the value of which is determined by the length of the fight
  • Passengers may receive further compensation for reaching their destination more than 3 hours later, the value of which is determined by the length of the flight and the delay
  • Compensation will only be provided for flights departing from or arriving in EU airports, as well as Norway, Switzerland or Iceland  

An internet photograph of delayed passengers

UK laws also state that compensation should be awarded where delays have been caused as a result technical faults, which clearly appears to be the case where BA is concerned. It is also one of BA’s policies that compensation claims can be brought for any qualifying flight delays or cancellation that have arisen within 6 years of the incident.

If you would like to speak to someone about what may be done to help you regarding delayed or cancelled flights, contact me via email or through LinkedIn to find out whether you may be owed compensation.

Garden House Solicitors 23 London Road Hertford SG13 7LG

Tel: 01992 422 128

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

Tuesday 23 May 2017

Dementia Tax, what can be done about it?

Those with close family members faced with the prospect of requiring domiciliary or residential care, by now, should be well aware of the changes that will affect social care policy. The proposed manifesto will see our vulnerable having to pay for their own care fees if the combined total of their savings and property exceeds £100,000. Granted this raises care fee assessments from £23,250 but, with all things considered is this truly a saving when most assets are tied up in properties anyway? With the housing market as it is today, most people who own their own property will be tasked with paying for their own care fees should the need for care arise. Of course payment can be deferred until death, in which case the deceased’s estate would incur the burden of payment, meaning that leaving a healthy inheritance for the family may soon become a thing of the past. 
Kagowa Kuruneri - Garden House Solicitors
Article by Kagowa Kuruneri

Where domiciliary care was not an issue, its successor ensures that certain degenerative and debilitating diseases will attract care fee obligations and others will not, regardless of where care is provided. Does the discrimination between illnesses, geography and means serve any real benefit when the aim is to make care policies fairer?

The worry now is that in order to protect one’s assets or estate, those in need will shy away from much needed assistance until their circumstances are so dire that they require nursing care under the NHS. The other solution would appear to be transferring ownership of assets before care applications are submitted. However, setting aside the fact that it is unclear how such transfers will be treated under the new policy, there are Inheritance Tax provisions that could adversely affect your estate if certain conditions are not satisfied.

At best it is not yet clear whether there will be a way to receive care assistance without losing your property, diminishing the value of your estate, or putting your own health at more risk. However, if you would like to explore the options that are available which would reduce the blow delivered by the “Dementia tax” reach out to Garden House Solicitors today via email or LinkedIn.

Garden House Solicitors

Tel: 01992 422 128

Email: info@gardenhousesolicitors.co.uk
The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.