Plane flying in the sky over clouds

Most dangerous part for adventure holidaymakers revealed to be the flight itself

A survey found that holidaymakers are more likely to be injured on a plane to their overseas trips than taking part in any ‘dangerous’ adventure activities once they get there.

21 May 2024

Of all the adventure activities included in the survey, the total average where people were injured was 5.95%. However, the amount of people who were injured between one to four times on a flight to those trips was 15.72%. While the Independent found commercial aviation was safer in 2023 than in any previous year, there are still several incidents that happen daily causing injuries to both the passengers and cabin crew.

The most common in-flight injury was tripping over something which nearly a quarter (24.84%) of people had experienced, followed by hot food or drink being spilt onto the passenger (23.84%), a bag falling from the overhead department (23.55%), a trolly being bumped into a passenger (21.94%).

Hannah Crosby, Litigation Executive in our Travel Department, says: "If a passenger on a plane has had an accident, causing injury which was not their fault, then strict liability may apply. This means you would not necessarily need to prove the airline were negligent to be successful in your claim, making the process more straightforward than in many other forms of personal injury claims".

In 2023, the firm represented a woman who was left with scarring after a hot drink she was served on an EasyJet flight spilt onto her due to a defective tray table, burning her body. Immediately, the burns caused extreme pain and she sought medical attention to treat them and the event left her permanently scarred.

Claims can be made for both international and domestic flights through the Montreal Convention 1999 that governs international carriage by air and imposes a form of strict liability on the airline in respect of accidents causing injury. On top of these mostly accidental injuries, more than one in five people (21%) in the survey said they had previously been injured by other passengers during their flight.

Of the more than 2,000 people surveyed, there had been more than 1,645 first-hand injuries abroad collectively, while second-hand incidents, where those surveyed knew of someone injured abroad reached more than 2,340. Yet, of those thousands of instances, more than 15.9% said they’ve never taken out insurance or don’t plan to take it out on their next trip away.

In every case of booking a holiday or going abroad, travellers expect to remain safe and healthy, especially when booking package holidays. However, accidents abroad can and do happen, and in our survey, more than 170 people said they wouldn’t know what to do should they need medical assistance on holiday.

Holidaymakers can make a claim with a solicitor for medical expenses, pain and suffering felt, as well as any other financial losses that have occurred. Crosby continues: “There are a few requirements and eligibilities that need to be met to claim. A third party must have been negligent, you must have sustained injuries due to the negligence, and there must be strong evidence to support your claim given the burden is on you, as a claimant, to prove your case.

“In some cases, if you book a package contact holiday with a UK-based travel agent or tour operator, any accident that occurs during the services under contract, will be the responsibility of the agent or tour operator you booked with."

The below table displays the most surveyed activities from most to least dangerous.

Different travel injuries from survey 2024

At Slater and Gordon, we understand navigating the complexities of having an accident on holiday can be daunting, but that's where we excel. Our team doesn’t just specialise in personal injury cases; we focus exclusively on cases with a foreign element. What sets us apart is our strong network of relationships, both domestically and internationally. We work closely with medical experts and foreign solicitors who provide us with invaluable insights to expedite your claim swiftly and efficiently.

Whether your injury occurred while traveling to or from your destination, during your stay, while working abroad, or due to substandard medical care overseas, our team will be by your side every step of the way.

When you choose our travel lawyers, you will not only be getting legal expertise for your holiday claim but a dedicated and empathetic lawyer who will help you get the compensation you deserve.

For more information, call us on 0330 107 5057 or contact us online.

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