ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Jeremy Telman
Oklahoma City University
School of Law

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Emirates Airline and Unilateral Contracts

This is a bit out of date but it is still an interesting hypothetical.  According to this story, Emirates Airline is offering to pay medical expenses up to €150,000 ($173,000) and quarantine costs up to €100/day for fourteen days to anyone who contracts COVID-19 during an Emirates flight.  The offer is good through October 31st, so book your tickets now! 

The structure of the offer is similar to the set up to Carbolic Smoke Ball.  There, the company offered €100 to anyone who used their product, which was purported to prevent influenza, and still contracted the disease.  Plaintiff did both, and so was rewarded.  In the re-make, it seems like the difficulty would be proving that one contracted COVID on an Emirates flight.  After all, the airline is not promising immunity from COVID; it is only expressing its confidence that you will not be infected while flying.  But, at least as reported by CNN, Emirates is offering pretty broad coverage, as the language suggests that the offer is good "during the[] trip."  Arguably, if you contract COVID in the airport, in a taxi, in a hotel, on a non-Emirates connecting flight, that all would be covered. 

If nothing else, I think this offer suggests the lengths to which airlines are willing to go to entice people back into travel.  All signs suggest that it is not working.

H/T Miriam Cherry

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