Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Ask and you shall receive isn't a popular motto with some airlines.

Some prefer to cock a deaf ear to passengers' complaints.

This can be especially true when the subject is compensation.

Passengers write, fight and call, but in many cases nothing happens, so the claimant gives up.

The especially irate and determined in Europe, however, have hit upon a new idea. 

They're sending people to airline offices to demand payment.

When I say people, these are individuals with some authority.

They're called bailiffs. In England, this has a slightly different connotation from the person who stands in court and says: "All rise."

These British bailiffs go out into the world and execute legal orders. Often, they're the people who arrive at doors to evict non-payers of rent.

So they have a certain charm, but only the sort that says: "Do what I say or there's going to be trouble."

In this case, the BBC reports that passengers have already tried legal remedies to stake their claims.

But when court judgments are ignored, the bailiffs are then sent to the airlines' offices to collect the debt. 

It seems that airline employees are paying up -- often using credit or debit cards.

If they don't, you see, the bailiff has the power to take possession of many items that might fall to their eyes. 

Like desks, chairs and model airplanes.

In Europe, passengers have a few more rights than they do in the U.S. 

As I recently mentioned, the European Union fines airlines for being late. The later they are, the more they're fined.

Some experts estimate that there's $500 million outstanding from fines that the airlines simply haven't paid to customers affected by delays.

The BBC's You and Yours consumer affairs radio show found that one airline -- TUI Airways -- had 20 court judgments a day against it.

EasyJet was another alleged repeat offender.

Of course, the passengers have still spent time and money to get what is rightfully theirs.

There must, though, be a temptation to go to the airlines along with the bailiffs, just to see the airline employees' faces.

Published on: Apr 1, 2018