Bits: £20 off £400 Opodo flight, Marriott / Starwood off, new book on EU261

News in brief:

£20 off a £400 Opodo flight booking

Until midnight on Tuesday, Opodo is offering £20 off a £400 flight booking with discount code 642EEXDD.

The discount is on the total booking price, not per person.  It is not valid on multi-stop flights (it is not clear if that excludes indirect flights, eg Edinburgh – London – Madrid) or flights on budget airlines.

Full details can be found on the Opodo website here.

Opodo discount code

Marriott / Starwood merger may be off

As I wrote last week, the (generally) unwelcome merger of the Marriott and Starwood hotel chains appears to be on the rocks.

(I say ‘generally’ unwelcome because the Starwood management team – who are likely to receive huge pay-offs if the Marriott deal completes and they are fired – are still desperately keen for it to happen.)

Following a $2 increase in its bid, Starwood has now accepted that a revised $78 all-cash offer from a Chinese-led investment group is ‘superior’ over the $65 ‘mainly shares’ offer from Marriott – although it has not recommended the deal.

This is not the end of the story as Marriott has 10 days in which to make a counter offer.  It would need to pay substantially more than $78, however, as well as substantially changing the mix of cash versus shares.  ($1 of cash will still be worth $1 in 3 months when the deal completes.  $1 of Marriott shares could be worth a lot less – so sensible investors would prefer cash.)

It may also decide to walk away and pocket the $400m break fee which Starwood is obliged to pay.  Whilst this sum is meant to deter counter-bids, it also works the other way – Marriott will now effectively ‘lose’ this money if it jumps back in.   You can read more on the Bloomberg site here.

Air Passenger Rights Ten Years On Bubeck Prassl

New book on EU261 launched

On Wednesday night I was at the launch party for a new book on Regulation 261/2004, ie the EU law on flight delay compensation.

This book is definitely one for lawyers or aviation experts as opposed to general readers, as the £55 price tag attests.  If you are involved in this sector, however, it is worth a look.  It includes 15 case studies from different EU member states, showing how the ruling has been applied by national courts, as well as a number of papers giving EU-level and horizontal perspectives.  Jiri Malenovsky, one of the key architects of the original law, uses the opening paper to fight back at critics of the rules.

Air Passenger Rights – Ten Years On‘, edited by Michal Bobek and Jeremias Prassl (Prassl, full disclaimer, is a friend of mine) is available on Amazon here.

Important dates for your diary - offers about to close which you shouldn't miss
My review of the Hampton by Hilton London Gatwick Airport
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  1. Peter K says:

    Great. I wondered what to get my wife for our anniversary. That book sounds just the job ;-p

  2. RIccati says:

    What is the point of all this research on EU261 when the airlines are good at avoiding compensation. This ranges from landing within 10-15 minutes of the 3 hour delay at destination — that is, stretching operational window to avoid parking fees as expensive airports to blatantly rejecting the claims. The airlines keep citing technical circumstances despite Jet vs. Huzar.

    Airlines do make economic decisions but reject the cost externalities they impose on travellers.

    Raising up the existence of EU261 invariably leads to agents smirking up and some becoming plain unhelpful and unresponsive. Yes, they do stop talking to you, turn away, and avoid looking at you because they are in the wrong, this happened to me at SAS transfers in CPH!

    The only improvement there has been over years that airlines do give food and shelter — the courts will not look kindly if these basic needs are not met and a crowd of disappointed passengers is a risk to public disorder.