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.
The Marriott / Starwood merger may be off
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.
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.