Supreme Court refers package holiday case to CJEU

In X v Kuoni Travel Ltd [2019] UKSC 37, the claimant was raped whilst on holiday by an on-duty electrician at night, who suggested a short-cut to reception before leading her to an empty room.   She brought a claim in breach of contract and/or under the Package Travel Regulations 1992.  Her claim was dismissed at first instance and on appeal to the Court of Appeal, which courts considered that the electrician had not provided a holiday service and that there was no breach of contract.

The Supreme Court considered the case required a reference to the CJEU on the meaning of the Package Directive 1990 which led directly to the implementation of the 1992 Regulations. In so referring the case, it asked the CJEU to assume that “guidance by a member of the hotel’s staff of Mrs X to the reception was a service within the “holiday arrangements” which Kuoni had contracted to provide and that the rape and assault constituted improper performance of the contract”, this being the claimant’s case.

There is now likely to be a substantial delay, which is most unfortunate, before the real meaning and effect of the Package Travel Directive and Regulations are confirmed.

Robert Weir QC acted for X with Katherine Deal QC of 3 Hare Court, instructed by Philip Banks of Irwin Mitchell.

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