Finnair Fiasco from 2016

MEL_Traveller

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Hi Finnishlawyer and welcome to AFF!

It would be great to have your input here... particularly given the case seems like it is going to appeal over the costs. It seems Finnair is trying to do a deal before it goes to appeal?
 
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Hi Finnishlawyer and welcome to AFF!

It would be great to have your input here... particularly given the case seems like it is going to appeal over the costs. It seems Finnair is trying to do a deal before it goes to appeal?

Thanks! It’s my duty to help.

Regarding this case I’ve been a private person since 1st of March 2020. Therefore I don’t have any further information what was intended to be appealed in the Court of Appeals. Main subject and/or legal costs.

Generally speaking international collections is very hard if the debtor doesn’t have any assets in the given country. Especially if the debtor disputes the debt on top of that. The rule of thumb is that in that case a local court process must follow if the creditor wants to pursue action. This question will be decided by australian laws and/or international conventions in which both parties, Finland and Australia have ratified.
 

MEL_Traveller

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Thanks! It’s my duty to help.

Regarding this case I’ve been a private person since 1st of March 2020. Therefore I don’t have any further information what was intended to be appealed in the Court of Appeals. Main subject and/or legal costs.

Generally speaking international collections is very hard if the debtor doesn’t have any assets in the given country. Especially if the debtor disputes the debt on top of that. The rule of thumb is that in that case a local court process must follow if the creditor wants to pursue action. This question will be decided by australian laws and/or international conventions in which both parties, Finland and Australia have ratified.

If you are able, there is some communication from the lawyers earlier in this thread. There was talk that there would be an appeal to the Finnish court with regards to costs, given the undertakings by IfDelayed (no win, no fee). As far as I know the subject of the original complain is not being appealed.

It seems Finnair has reached out to parties in advance of that appeal, offering them a reduced amount of €4000 Euros if they agree to settle before it goes to appeal. (reduced from €6000 in the judgment.)
 
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If you are able, there is some communication from the lawyers earlier in this thread. There was talk that there would be an appeal to the Finnish court with regards to costs, given the undertakings by IfDelayed (no win, no fee). As far as I know the subject of the original complain is not being appealed.

It seems Finnair has reached out to parties in advance of that appeal, offering them a reduced amount of €4000 Euros if they agree to settle before it goes to appeal. (reduced from €6000 in the judgment.)
Let’s pretend there is another similar and hypothetical but completely different case unrelated to this one.

If I was an Australian in this type of similar situation I wouldn’t pay anything given I don’t have any assets or income in Finland or any other Nordic countries.

Continuing to pursue the case with my own funds would be too risky as well. Risk-reward factor isn’t good enough.

I would wait for the creditor to come and represent his claim in my local forum. Meanwhile I would sleep my nights comfortably😉
 

MEL_Traveller

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Let’s pretend there is another similar and hypothetical but completely different case unrelated to this one.

If I was an Australian in this type of similar situation I wouldn’t pay anything given I don’t have any assets or income in Finland or any other Nordic countries.

Continuing to pursue the case with my own funds would be too risky as well. Risk-reward factor isn’t good enough.

I would wait for the creditor to come and represent his claim in my local forum. Meanwhile I would sleep my nights comfortably😉

Thanks!

I understand the current lawyers were going to lodge the appeal for free. I guess the risk there is either paying €4000 now, or losing and having to pay €6000.

However, as you say, it depends on the liklihood of Finnair pursuing that in Australia.

It might be a good idea for SandyS to seek some legal advice in Australia about this.
 

33kft

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Out of interest, in such a hypothetical situation as above, would there be any risk in future visits or transits via a nordic country, and in particular, to Finland?
 

moa999

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Out of interest, in such a hypothetical situation as above, would there be any risk in future visits or transits via a nordic country, and in particular, to Finland?
Less likely as it's typically a civil matter.
Different if it's unpaid government fines.

I think the difficulty here is it generally is possible to ultimately enforce many overseas court judgements in Australia.. but it's not a cheap process, and you'd undoubtedly have a few more $$s added to the amount if they are successful.
 
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Out of interest, in such a hypothetical situation as above, would there be any risk in future visits or transits via a nordic country, and in particular, to Finland?
No risk while visiting or even if staying longer. There is no system that will make ”bells and whistles” go off at the immigration. Owing money is not a crime.

To be honest all that the enforcement has is your name and address. You could be even another person having the same name. On top of that here enforcement can’t and won’t seize anything smaller than income or assets from bank account, cars, stocks or property. As long as your bank accounts are in Australia they can’t do anything.

Here the poor people are getting a monthly welfare allowance from state. The ”poorest” people that have huge debts but no assets at all arrive to pick up their monthly allowance with luxury cars that are registered abroad...

ps. just to play extra-safe I wouldn’t bring any large sums of cash or book a flight from Finnair anymore. This is just for the peace of mind more than any real threat. Card is accepted here everywhere and for all purchases no matter how small. Most of the locals don’t use cash anymore.
 
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SandyS

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No risk while visiting or even if staying longer. There is no system that will make ”bells and whistles” go off at the immigration. Owing money is not a crime.

To be honest all that the enforcement has is your name and address. You could be even another person having the same name. On top of that here enforcement can’t and won’t seize anything smaller than income or assets from bank account, cars, stocks or property. As long as your bank accounts are in Australia they can’t do anything.

Here the poor people are getting a monthly welfare allowance from state. The ”poorest” people that have huge debts but no assets at all arrive to pick up their monthly allowance with luxury cars that are registered abroad...

ps. just to play extra-safe I wouldn’t bring any large sums of cash or book a flight from Finnair anymore. This is just for the peace of mind more than any real threat. Card is accepted here everywhere and for all purchases no matter how small. Most of the locals don’t use cash anymore.
Hi there,

Thank you for your input and help. I haven't been on the forum for a while and have only now seen your comments.

I will never book a flight with Finnair ever again!
 

SandyS

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Here is the communication I received from the lawyers.

I think Finnair would try and collect the money but how far they go, I don't know. I believe there is a bilateral agreement that would allow them to pursue me but I have no experience in such things.


We have now received a couple of judgements in other cases. In those cases, the plaintiffs have argued that the litigation costs that they have sentenced to be liable for should be reduced due to IfDelayed’s promises, IfDelayed’s bankruptcy and the fact that the plaintiffs are not able to cover the costs. The court has thought about the arguments but unfortunately in all cases it has ruled that those are not valid reasons to reduce Finnair’s litigation costs.

I want to inform you about this to provide you information about the likelihood of how your case can end. In short, it is unlikely that the reasoning already provided in your case and that is possible to provide influences the reasoning of the court. We estimate that continuing the appeal can increase the litigation costs to be sentenced, possibly in thousands as there can possibly be a trial instead of written procedure. If you wish to not to terminate the appeal, if possible by the judge we will ask for a written procedure to minimize the litigation costs of Finnair.

Your case is now in the appealing phase as you have wished to continue the appeal. If you want to drop the case, that is possible. It will cut the litigation costs from growing but the court will sentence you liable for Finnair's litigation costs. It is also possible to continue with the claim. If you want to do this, we will inform you after the court of appeals contacts us with the dates. This can take months.

We have not yet received payment instructions from Finnair in those cases that have ended in Finnair winning. If we start receiving those, it indicates that Finnair is eager to collect the money.
 

MEL_Traveller

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I think this is poor customer service from Finnair's end to pursue these.

If you want to know where you stand in terms of a judgment being enforced in Australia you should probably seek independent legal advice from an Australian lawyer.
 

glasszon

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wow, is it possible to perhaps get the travel bloggers or the media across this? I imagine no one would have contemplated this scenario when using those firms to claim EU261 compensation and Finnair might waive the litigation cost if it turns out to be bad PR.
 

MEL_Traveller

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wow, is it possible to perhaps get the travel bloggers or the media across this? I imagine no one would have contemplated this scenario when using those firms to claim EU261 compensation and Finnair might waive the litigation cost if it turns out to be bad PR.

Might be worth a try... but a couple of issues to consider. Firstly - which bloggers and where? Australians aren't familiar with EU261, and although Finnair markets flights in Australia, it doesn't fly here. Perhaps some of the global bloggers like Onemileatatime or The Points Guy (especially The Points Guy UK) would be worth a try. They would have an audience familiar with EU261 and the unfairness of this situation (many of their readers would have used claims services).

The second issue is that public support in Finland. Finnair has been particularly stubborn in defending these claims and their pursuit of costs. A good media campaign might see them drop it, but it also might make them dig their heels in. The Finnish Government announced a €600 million assistance package to get Finnair through covid, do the Finns want the airline they're subsidising to be waiving fees and costs?
 
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glasszon

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Might be worth a try... but a couple of issues to consider. Firstly - which bloggers and where? Australians aren't familiar with EU261, and although Finnair markets flights in Australia, it doesn't fly here. Perhaps some of the global bloggers like Onemileatatime or The Points Guy (especially The Points Guy UK) would be worth a try. They would have an audience familiar with EU261 and the unfairness of this situation (many of their readers would have used claims services).

The second issue is that public support in Finland. Finnair has been particularly stubborn in defending these claims and their pursuit of costs. A good media campaign might see them drop it, but it also might make them dig their heels in. The Finnish Government announced a €600 million assistance package to get Finnair through covid, do the Finns want the airline they're subsidising to be waiving fees and costs?

True, but it's worth a try as a last resort. Further legal action seems to be futile and is just throwing good money after bad, and the only alternative would be to ignore future correspondence from the lawyers and hope Finnair don't decide to make an example out of the customers and try to enforce the ruling in Australia.
 

SandyS

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I do know there were Americans on my flight as it was mentioned in a US forum. But don't know if they sought compensation.
My main reason for posting this was to let people know what was happening.
I'll get Australian legal advice when Finnair want payment as its just adding to the costs for now.
 

nicnet

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Just to keep you all updated - we are one of those in the position where we now owe money to Finnair (a LOT of money) due to Ifdelayed going bust.
Finnair have written to us demanding the money and threatening to use collection agency.
We'll pay - don't have too many options here.
Interestingly, the new "owners" of Ifdelayed are still using the testimonials and good will of the old Ifdelayed - seems completely unacceptable, given that Ifdelayed did not follow through with their contractual obligations, and we now out of pocket many thousands of €.
Tough day.
 

pauleg

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Just to keep you all updated - we are one of those in the position where we now owe money to Finnair (a LOT of money) due to Ifdelayed going bust.
Finnair have written to us demanding the money and threatening to use collection agency.
We'll pay - don't have too many options here.
Interestingly, the new "owners" of Ifdelayed are still using the testimonials and good will of the old Ifdelayed - seems completely unacceptable, given that Ifdelayed did not follow through with their contractual obligations, and we now out of pocket many thousands of €.
Tough day.
That's outrageous - all the best
 

nicnet

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Outrageous is the only word I can think of as well.
Another angle, when Ifdelayed (Swedish company) went insolvent, a (Swedish-court) appointed receiver handled distribution of any remaining assets to the creditors.
In this situation, we were quite clearly a creditor. And yet we were not informed of the insolvency, so could not represent our rights as a creditor in the insolvency. In fact, the "new" Ifdelayed recently informed us that the receiver did not even consider us to be a creditor, as they were sure that Finnair would not pursue costs against us.
I will discuss this further with this receiver, now that I know of their existence.
 

pauleg

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Outrageous is the only word I can think of as well.
Another angle, when Ifdelayed (Swedish company) went insolvent, a (Swedish-court) appointed receiver handled distribution of any remaining assets to the creditors.
In this situation, we were quite clearly a creditor. And yet we were not informed of the insolvency, so could not represent our rights as a creditor in the insolvency. In fact, the "new" Ifdelayed recently informed us that the receiver did not even consider us to be a creditor, as they were sure that Finnair would not pursue costs against us.
I will discuss this further with this receiver, now that I know of their existence.
Yes - go for it. It would seem you and others who would also have been creditors did not recieve appropriate notice. You might frighten a settlement out of them to avoid larger/broader problems????
 

SandyS

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No risk while visiting or even if staying longer. There is no system that will make ”bells and whistles” go off at the immigration. Owing money is not a crime.

To be honest all that the enforcement has is your name and address. You could be even another person having the same name. On top of that here enforcement can’t and won’t seize anything smaller than income or assets from bank account, cars, stocks or property. As long as your bank accounts are in Australia they can’t do anything.

Here the poor people are getting a monthly welfare allowance from state. The ”poorest” people that have huge debts but no assets at all arrive to pick up their monthly allowance with luxury cars that are registered abroad...

ps. just to play extra-safe I wouldn’t bring any large sums of cash or book a flight from Finnair anymore. This is just for the peace of mind more than any real threat. Card is accepted here everywhere and for all purchases no matter how small. Most of the locals don’t use cash anymore.
I have still not received anything other than emails from KPF.
And although costly to pursue overseas debts, there is a bilateral agreement with Australia.
I would imagine its fairly easy to "come after" me as they have my name, address and passport number.
It's all just a bit of a nightmare and incredibly unfair, especially for those in Finland.
 

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