Suppose that a person A booked a flight to the middle east from the UK. The Airline's Covid site advice was that PCR tests had to be done 72 hours prior to the flight. Suppose that A took this advice as accurate, had the tests, but at check-in A was refused boarding. The rule was 48 hours. The web site was wrong. A flew the following day at an extra flight cost of £1048. Then there was the extra costs of the PCR tests plus two extra taxi journeys. A complained but the airline have said it is up to passengers to ensure travel documents are correct. Suppose further that prior to online check in A received an email advising A to check on the airline's web site the Covid rules. Also, when one calls them the auto messages give the same advice. This would be fine if the airline's advice had been correct, but at the time it was not. Suppose that A has screen shot evidence of the incorrect page.

A now wishes to take them to the small claims court. I A has so-far failed to obtain a UK corporate address. Could A use their HQ address in a different country? Can A sue in the UK? If so, does A have to use a UK address for the airline? Is there any point in my pursuing this or do international companies that are based abroad have a blanket get of jail card?

  • 2
    I would not be surprised if their web site has a disclaimer that says that nothing there is "official" and that you need to consult whatever they consider to be "official".
    – jwh20
    Mar 15, 2022 at 13:37
  • As edited, i do not think this asks for specific legal advice, and so should not be closed on that basis. Mar 15, 2022 at 14:56
  • I curious as to why you think a claim that adheres to the rules of small-claims court in your locale would not be possible just because the party you accuse is not a natural person?
    – Neil Meyer
    Mar 15, 2022 at 15:11
  • You may find this answer useful.
    – Greendrake
    Mar 16, 2022 at 2:19

1 Answer 1


Of course

Unless you waived your right to go to court in the contract. For example, if the contract contains an arbitration clause, disputes must be arbitrated, you cannot use the courts.

It is also possible that an English court may not have jurisdiction. For example, if the contract had a choice of forum clause requiring disputes to be resolved in the courts of the UAE, then an English court would possibly defer to that and refuse to hear the case.

Whether you will succeed depends on the terms of the contract and whether the airline had a duty to provide you with accurate information. It is quite likely that the contract contains disclaimers as to the accuracy of information given. These may succeed in defeating your suit.

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