Entitled customers - How far is too far?

So we've seen a gazillion posts of customers complaining about businesses.
How about something a bit different?

Summary:

  • 54yo traveller flew with Emirates, constantly asking for water during flight.
  • Glass ofwater provided with meal an hour into flight.
  • Water fountain also available for all passengers but she claimed she "did not see it".
  • Said traveller went to the toilet, fainted and hurt her ankle on the way.
  • Airlines staff went "Oh sh!t" then gave her a crap load of water for the rest of the flight.

Now suing for:

  • Surgery and two months off work (Fair? Maybe, maybe not)
  • Emotional damage ("withdrawal from friends")
  • Broken marriage ("Because of the accident, I couldn't be … the wife that he married" - I kid you not, that's an actual quote from the article)
  • Other, erm, damages ("the confidence I had for myself, it's all gone")

All blamed on the lack of water.
So, folks, how far is too far?

Comments

  • +3 votes

    It's be thrown out probably. She's an adult she can ask for things.

    In a budget airlines, you'd have to pay for water. If someone refuses to pay and faints, who's fault is that? It'd be the passengers fault.

    • +1 vote

      I disagree. It does say she asked for it. I don't necessarily think it is right but she will get some sort of undisclosed settlement to drop the case without acceptance of guilt. If the faint was real and documented, almost certain she will get something unless obvious medical conditions, and even then, likely still will get something if they ought to have known - the rest is all lawyer guff to try increase the payment - don't pay too much attention to it.

      • +17 votes

        I'm with mbck. It will get thrown out.

        The facts are
        1. She was provided with water.
        2. A water fountain was made available to her.
        3. She fell and broke her ankle.

        With that, she has cooked up this amazing story of deprivation, dehydration, alienation, divorce, depression…

        She's better than the girl in Rumplestiltskin. She doesn't just spin straw into gold, she spins bullshit to gold.

        • +13 votes

          yeah no it won't.
          Courts are expensive, lawyers are expensive. Every day thousands rack up.
          The only reason it would have got this far is she probably already refused a lower settlement offer.
          People who have legit injuries (even if they caused them) when in the care / premises of a large company almost ALWAYS get paid - the main thing is just how much and whether they accept it or fight for more.

          The relevant facts are:
          - She was on their plane
          - She broke her ankle on their plane

          As for everything else:
          - She has all sorts of ways to argue they at least contributed to it in some way
          - A whole bunch of stuff happened that seems trivial to us but that a lawyer can scare into a result of some kind.

          The very fact it is in court and being reported already means it hasn't been thrown out.

          •  

            @MrFrugalSmith: I heard it from someone who knows someone in the business who told them that sometimes, when judges get bored, they allow these cases to go on so they can pretend they are Judge Judy.

            (Totally not something I would do if I were a judge.)

            • +3 votes

              @tshow: Courts follow procedure at this level - its not like Judge Judy where they just interrupt and say I've heard enough, Person A - you're an idiot, Person B - pay them half the money - that's small claims type stuff - this has barristers etc, expert reports written, all manner of things to go though… … i hope

              •  

                @MrFrugalSmith: Judges are people too. I for one wouldn't want to hear a 54 year old "curvy" woman talk about how she cannot exercise anymore since being tortured on a plane.

                That would be totally not funny.

          •  

            @MrFrugalSmith: The fact it's in court and settlement hasn't been agreed to means that Emirates now think it's cheaper for them to fight in court.
            Claimant should have taken the settlement.
            Any "win" in court will be hoovered up by her Lawyers.

            • +22 votes

              @scubacoles: To put this into perspective, what the news agencies haven't reported is:

              1. This is an appeal. She lost the first proceeding. https://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/vic/VSC/...
              2. This is all about her seeking non-economic losses. Not covering her doctor/surgery bills. These have likely already been paid for. What she's seeking is a big payout from "being withdrawn from friends" "marriage failing" etc.
              3. The original judgment doesn't even have a mention of the word water. The Appeal is all about establishing whether Emirates is liable for non-economic losses.
              4. There would have been loooong settlement discussions prior to the first proceeding. Obviously each party is far apart in what $$$ would settle this.
              5. She isn't using a small 'Dennis Denuto' firm to represent her. The fact they are appealing means, dispute her working for a city council on guesstimated mediocre wage, she has plenty of money to burn or someone is bankrolling her.
              6. If her appeal succeeds then Emirates could be liable for unknown losses. Emirates would reopen negotiations and probably pay her out a hefty sum to make this go away. If her appeal fails, she can only claim medical expenses, lost wages etc which would be minimal and valued less than her legal fees she has spent to date.
              • +2 votes

                @zeggie: If the appeal fails would she likely have to pay Emirates legal fees? Also, can a large defendant ask for and get the court to require a deposit from plaintiff to ensure the defendants legal fees will be secure in the event plaintiffs action fails? 😀💐

                •  

                  @voteoften:

                  If the appeal fails would she likely have to pay Emirates legal fees?

                  More likely than not.

                  Also, can a large defendant ask for and get the court to require a deposit from plaintiff to ensure the defendants legal fees will be secure in the event plaintiffs action fails?

                  Yes. Rarely happens however. If they have zero assets or are based overseas are the usual triggers.

              • +1 vote

                @zeggie: That is one high end summary right there..

                •  

                  @harukinights: Cheers. Happy to help. The media will always do what the media does, in this case latch onto the "water" element and stir up public interest which hides the main issues actually in contention.

              •  

                @zeggie: If current judiciary system allows nonsense like that to go through then there will be many more other cases like this referencing the case law xxx vs Emirates.

                Ffs someone need to just end this.

    •  

      All planes should provide water. However, I do have problems believing that Emirates wouldn’t give her water or tell her where the water fountain was. If they didn’t tell her, when she asked for water, then they weren’t doing their job properly.

      • +1 vote

        true, she probably asked once and later got with the meal but decided it was too slow. They always get water whenever i ask for it in those annoying little plastic cups with the alfoil peel-back lid that smell funny and have the glue residue on the rim… not the best but stops you from dehydrating

  • +2 votes

    Lol. I read that on tea break.

    "She used to do exercise…" 🤦

    • +7 votes

      I read that an LOL'd.

      " "adventurous" traveller who loved dancing and skiing before the incident.". Sure.

      "Mr Meldrum said his client had always needed to drink "an awful lot of water", consuming one litre during the day before taking another litre to bed." I must drink a hell of a lot of water than, since I drink at least 3 litres a day.

      Story also says she was given a glass of water almost an hour after the plane takes off. So like, after it climbed, cabin crew prepared all their stuff, and then started service?

      Also did she notify cabin or gate crew that she has a medical condition that if she doesn't get a bottle of water within an hour, she will faint? Because that sounds pretty serious. A smart person would have purchased a bottle at the airport, past security. I do that all the time.

      • +9 votes

        A smart person would have purchased a bottle at the airport, past security.

        She was probably smart. Her previous episode of catastrophic dehydration probably left her with reduced faculties.

        The dehydration has come back for the coup de grâce. Sweep the legs, break the ankles. Everything else will follow - marriage, friends, skiing…

      • +4 votes

        Flights back to Australia do not allow you to carry ANY water on board.
        There is a second security screening at the gate lounge! It's insanity and very annoying if you've just bought water!

        •  

          This isn’t true, and if it happened to you, it surely was an isolated incident. I always bring my klean kanteen, empty, through security and then fill it up. Not once have I been told to dispose of it prior to boarding (both travelling to and from Australia).

        •  

          We experienced this when we flew back from Sweden a couple of years ago on SIngapore Airlines. Flew Frankfurt-Singapore, plane was VERY cold and air was extremely dry, crew came around a couple of times offering water (and then "disappeared" for most of the flight) so had to trek down to the back galley to get water if we wanted it and we were pretty thirsty when we arrived in Singapore. Bought some water to drink straight away and some to take on the plane to Perth, but arrived at the gate lounge to find a second security screening point where liquids over 100ml were being taken away, so had to drink the rest of the water before we went through screening.

        • +6 votes

          Yeah this is absurd and pure 'security theatre'

          That said, more times than not there is a fountain to refill an empty bottle at the gate. Also, all long hauls I've been on nowdays have fountains on the plane or at least jugs of water at the crew sections at night.

        •  

          Yep, I read this in the Bali forums all the time… they're just reinforcing Australian rules

          This also happens with Duty Free Alcohol, if the seller isn't on the ball.

          You can't buy inside the gates and carry it to duty free, the Retailer has to hold it for you and on send it to gate departure.

          At the 2nd screening they hand you your duty free

        •  

          True, but article states it was her outbound flight that this happened on.

      •  

        Dancing, skiing, broken marriage.
        Translation: FJs go bye-bye :(

      •  

        "At least we wont run out of water when we ski"

        Said one chin to the other.

      •  

        "adventurous" traveller who loved dancing and skiing"….. and fainting…… and breakdancing on her ankle

  • +2 votes

    Sounds like the marriage must have been quite athletic. I hope the ex is questioned in court.

    • +2 votes

      I don't - i don't think i want to hear about some fainting, whinging, mid-50s lady's athletic marriage

    • +2 votes

      …the ex is questioned in court.

      1. On a scale of "I was desperate" to "did way too much blow", how do you view your decision to marry?

      2. How many times did you wake up, turned to your side and went, "f…"?

      3. When she wasn't feeling too frisky and pulled the ol', "I've got a headache" card, did anyone else got sued for said ailment?

      I have heaps of questions for that man.

  • +4 votes

    Wait what? water fountain? What plane has that?

    • +1 vote

      Every plane. It's right outside each of the hatches.

      Have a look next time.

        • +2 votes

          The article makes their case by interviewing flight attendants that report they will not drink tap water from the plane.

          I wonder if these people drink tap water anywhere else.

          I know people who never drink from taps. If they were flight attendants, they'd say the same thing.

          There's also no comparison between the tap water on the plane and tap water anywhere else. Maybe the plane water has some germs but are much cleaner than anywhere else.

          Such a shame that Times has gotten so sloppy.

          • +1 vote

            @tshow: Yes it has been brought to their attention by a flight attendant body chasing an outcome as it had dragged on since first brought to light, but it refers to:
            2015 Study - International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
            2004 EPA Sampling of 300 planes
            2013 EPA documents referenced as reported by NBC

            These EPA reports were well documented, and drinking water standards are very strict on cfu units and are tested very regularly (most councils would be testing daily)

            Other articles:
            https://nypost.com/2018/12/03/water-on-airplanes-is-basicall...
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4661625/

            I agree it could have been better with a general engineer with a water specialty talking about what is normal so the layman knows how it compares, but I think the general consensus is E.Coli / coliform bacteria in drinking water is bad - its like drinking some tiny poo flakes!

        •  

          Yeah I have read a few articles regarding those drinking fountains and most say not to go near them because the tanks are rarely cleaned and contain high levels of bacteria. But the airlines don't like giving out more than 1 bottle of water per person, so what choice do you have unless you buy a few overpriced bottles after security to take on board.

      •  

        Hi, can you be more specific about what a hatch is? Is it a cabin door. Surely it can’t be the emergency exits as they are in seating rows as well. I’d really like to know so I can look. Thanks 💐

  • +6 votes

    "with her barrister Ron Meldrum QC saying she had been an "adventurous" traveller who loved dancing and skiing before the incident."

    https://www.stanthorpeborderpost.com.au/news/australian-woma...

    What a great physique for skiing.

    • +21 votes

      I reckon she just drank a lot of water during court.

      Jury was like, “Make sure we have barrels of the stuff ready, last thing we need is to get our asses sued”.

      • +2 votes

        Yep they will need plenty for the court. She drinks a whole litre during the day.

        Her whole case is stupid.

      •  

        Some of the colleagues at work drinks about 3 to 4 bottles (1.25l) of water during work hours.

        • +4 votes

          I am one of these people, I recon I drink 2-3 ltrs while at work every day

    •  

      I was about to say that I bet she is obese. It is a wonder that people like this can function in society. I say we take the warning labels off everything and let evolution run its course.

      • +5 votes

        Her constant thirst may indicate undiagnosed diabetes.
        So if it was a pre-existing condition, Emirates could argue she should have known and advised them of her requirements when booking.

      •  

        I say we take the warning labels off everything and let evolution run its course.

        As much as I’d like to see that happens, the problem is they’ll start suing everyone.
        It’s getting to the point that we’ll soon see “Stabbing yourself hurts” warning labels on knives, pens, forks, chopsticks and toothbrushes because of court cases like this.

    • +3 votes

      She must travel fast down the slopes.

  • +3 votes

    Drinks an awful amount of water..1L during day, another at night
    Does that not equate to a cup of water (250ml) every two hours..?
    Hope this gets thrown out

    • -1 vote

      8 cups is the recommended amount for women and 10 cups for men.

    • +1 vote

      1L during the day is more like a cup every 3 to 4 hours. But the air is a bit drier on a plane so you probably should drink a bit more.
      And I love the quote "another [litre] at night". Like does she drink it all in one go before bed or wakes up every couple of hours to remind herself to drink some water?

  • +3 votes

    USE YOUR MOUTH OUT LOUD ASK FOR BLOODY WATER INSTEAD OF HURTING YOURSELF, GRAB SOME WATER LADY! Haha.

  • +4 votes

    Crazy nutjob takes it to court, loses, Emirates demands legal fees for idiotic case.

    Crazy women can no longer afford bottled water, must settle for tap.

  • +2 votes

    I'd be asking if she made flight attendants aware that she needed water for a medical reason, or whether she was feeling unwell?

    Flight attendants are not there to serve the needs of 1 - they have a job to do which means servicing everyone on board. If you have special needs - bring your own dam water on board or tell the airlines at the time of booking.

  •  

    How much is she suing for?

  • +2 votes

    Something on her side doesn't add up. I find it hard to believe a full service airline will refuse to give water when asked let alone asked 4 times (unless you are asking during non serving times like takeoff, etc.) Emirates is one of the better airlines out there too. There is definitely more to this story.

    I recently flew with Emirates from Dubai back to Sydney too and can't really fault them for their service. I asked for water too and that was promptly delivered to me…

    •  

      I don't think the crew ignored her requests either, probably just miscommunication. I'm guessing that the attendants simply told her there was a drinking fountain onboard and that she can get it herself, but she was probably too lazy and wanted the staff to get water for her.
      It's hard to comprehend on a large airline with such a good reputation will just simply ignore their passengers.

      Also, I think she's trying to get more than what she is entitled to (if the case was true). Emirates would probably have to foot the bill for the surgery and the 2 months of work, but it's hard to see how they are responsible for her losing her friends, her husband and her 'confidence'. I've known a couple of people who had injured their ankles but they did not lose their friends, SO or their 'confidence'.

      • +1 vote

        Also, I think she's trying to get more than what she is entitled to

        Basically yes. I posted a lengthy response above.

        Say you break your leg. Doctor charges you $500. You miss a week of work $1000 wage. Under the law the airline falls under, they are only responsible for that $1500. That's it. Her lawyers are trying to stretch and say the airline is responsible under a different Australian law. That law allows "special damages" ie. a punishment.

        Long story short, if she loses she's only entitled to $1500. The proceedings won't go anywhere from there. Emirates will just pay the $1500 (I suspect they would have already) and the show is over.

        If she wins, she'll be wanting $1500 plus ~$50,000 (random number) for "pain, suffering, loss of marriage" etc. etc. Then the proceedings will really amp up - but will likely just settle out of Court.

        It'll never, ever get to a point where the actual water is discussed.

        I personally don't think her appeal will get through.

    •  

      Yes but how many times did you ask? Even Jetstar will give you water once or twice, its when someone starts taking the piss (excuse the pun) is when airlines may subtly ignore your requests.

    •  

      I'm of the thought that this "hour" she had to wait, is the time from when she sat down, plane was fully boarded, crew prepared the cabin for takeoff, plane was pushed back and taxied to runway, waited in line, took off, climbed, and the the crew prepared their area for the first service. That's not including any climbing and cruising turbulence that can delay service.

  •  

    What I would like to no did this happen on the way there or on the way back.
    If it happened on the way there how did she travel around on a broken leg wasn't there any doctors oversees that she could of seen.

  • +2 votes

    God I hope she loses

    • +1 vote

      It won't go to court. Emirates will settle…so, she still wins.

      •  

        That's the sad part. I wish they would take it all the way and make an example of people like this. Should lose everything she has for attempting to extort them.

        • +1 vote

          That's the sad part.

          No. The really sad part is this:

          "Because of the accident, I couldn't be … the wife that he married," Ms Di Falco said, referring to her frustration at being unable to keep up with domestic duties.

          Her husband saw her more as a maid than a wife.

      • +1 vote

        If her appeal loses, Emirates will just pay her the actual damages, if they haven't done so already. Something like $8000 in wages and $1000 in hospital bills? They'll pay that quick smart. Poof proceedings go away.

  • +7 votes

    I hope Emirates gets awarded costs when this lady loses.

  • +1 vote

    I can relate to some degree.

    I flew Latam, airport security searched everyone's carry on bags right before boarding the plane, even though we had already been to security.

    They confiscated my unopened water bottle that I had just purchased for the flight, I was thirsty.

    Its a 13 hour flight, and every time I ask for water I get a tiny 150ml cup, so I ask for two… but its really not enough considering how dry the cabin is.

    Also once they put the lights out the cabin crew mostly stopped responding to the call button for assistance, so I had to go and find them to ask for water.

    • +4 votes

      Did you do the OzBargain chug?

      "The tourist from Zhengzhou, east China's Henan province was carrying a three-litre container of milk through an airport in Australia when he was stopped by staff at the security checkpoint.

      After being told that he had violated the 100ml hand luggage liquid restriction, the man grabbed the plastic bottle and chugged back all 2.5 litres left in it. "

  •  

    is asking for water really that bad a thing? If i'm on a long flight and not in the aisle, I would either have to disturb my aisle passenger to get up and get water for myself or ask for one of the stewards to get it for me, isn't it?

    Usually we've been told growing up that it's rude to refuse somebody water…

    •  

      I've always assume they have a policy to keep water at a minimum… help prevents people constantly going to the toilet

  • +2 votes

    Look at her. LOOK AT HER. Explains it all. Only the public sector would hire someone like this. Entitlement syndrome and failure to take responsibility as an adult.

    You are the cause of your own suffering.

  •  

    I have questions that I think are not answered by this article, which makes it pretty hard to judge if this is entitlement or not.

    It says she asked for water multiple times during the flight - did these requests go unanswered? If she did ask multiple times, why didn't they tell her there was a water fountain? Because if she did ask and was ignored, then all of this is pretty justified - people faint from dehydration all the time.

    It comes undone though where it says she got back to Melbourne.
    "After returning to Australia from her holiday, the Moonee Valley City Council employee was told her ankle was broken. She underwent surgery and didn't go back to work for more than two months."

    How long after she returned was she told this? By who? What was the surgery? How bad was the break? It's totally reasonable to be off your foot for 6-8 weeks following a nasty injury, again I think that's justified but this is just so light on detail. It doesn't say she was ordered to be off her foot that long.. It's pretty rare to break your ankle on a flight, and while a faint from dehydration I guess could do it, I'd really like to know if alcohol was in the mix too.

    I feel like this whole article has been edited to incite outrage about entitlement, which it's clearly been successful in doing. That said I think there's way more ridiculous cases out there than this one.

    •  

      Maybe she's one of the toilet seat standers.

    •  

      I feel like this whole article has been edited to incite outrage about entitlement

      Correct. That's exactly what the media has done. The Court proceedings haven't even been about the water or ankle yet. It's all about non-economic damages.

  • +2 votes

    What? Broken ankle and couldn’t work for two months?

    I broke mine and was back at work, on crutches, catching public transport within a week.

    I think she’s extremely lazy and was looking for the perfect excuse to use up sick leave, get a divorce and make some money.

    I hope her case gets thrown out.

  •  

    It'll get thrown out of court in an instant.

    People can act like entitled grown-up babies all they like. Ultimately though it's their life and theirs to waste. If they play stupid games, they'll win stupid prizes.

  • +3 votes

    It's no laughing matter. This poor guy is suing due to loss of sex drive after failing to secure admission to a PhD course:

    https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/former-phd-student-...

    The bigwigs at these pernicious organisations are probably having sex right now while everyday heroes like this woman, man and us OzBargainers are doing it tough.

    If they setup a Gofundme page I'd probably throw in a couple of thousand because that's just the way I am. But the entitled airlines and universities are probably betting on us compassionate folk to foot the bill.

    •  

      He's demanding $3.125 MILLION! What the effing eff.

      Had to double check source wasn't the Onion.

  •  

    i went kfc drive thru one day specifically to get a gay time crusher (say that out aloud 10 times!) however they told me the machine was broken. i should have acted entitled. but i didnt.

  •  

    I hope Emirates wins and she has to pay their legal fees… sounds like a ridiculous waste of the court's time.

  •  

    Customer's shitty health.
    I think whether something is "too far" depends on how much of a compensation they're asking for.
    Requesting an apology when the company genuinely did something wrong isn't "too far", much more than that is a hard sell.
    In this case they airline didn't do anything wrong, from my understanding.

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