Stott v Thomas Cook – The Supreme Court criticises Thomas Cook for breach of human rights and calls for an amendment of the Montreal Convention


There is no protection from discrimination for disabled air passengers, the Supreme Court rules.

Christopher Stott, who is severely disabled and a permanent wheelchair user, had a seat booked next to his wife, who is his carer, on both outgoing and return flights between East Midlands Airport and Zante.

On the flight back, despite confirming the arrangement, Thomas Cook allocated him a different seat which they said they could not change. Mr Stott also fell off his wheelchair while boarding, with nobody coming to help him.

It was  found that he had been discriminated against but that he could not claim compensation under the Montreal Convention.

Lady Hale considered it disturbing that the Convention excludes damages claims for breaches of individuals’ fundamental rights, and the parties to the Convention should address the grave injustice done to those in the appellant’s position. 

Full details of the judgment are available here.