Court reserves judgement in Ryanair prize case

Wednesday 06 March 2002 13.35

The High Court has reserved judgement in the action by Dublin woman, Jane O'Keeffe, against Ryanair. She is seeking financial compensation because she claims the airline reneged on its promise to provide her with free flights for life after she became their one millionth passenger.

In his closing submissions this morning, counsel for Ryanair Martin Hayden claimed that Jane O'Keeffe was trying to convert a prize into money, and she had no entitlement to do that. Ryanair claims there was no enforceable contract and her prize of free flights was a gift bestowed on her.

If Mr Justice Kelly was to find there was a breach of contract, he said, the purpose of any compensation would be to compensate the injured party, not to punish those found in breach.

But Mark de Blacam for Jane O'Keeffe claims four breaches of contract and says that, as well as her entitlement to the value of the flights, she is entitled to general damages. Ms O'Keeffe, he said, had been badly treated by Ryanair.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly has not indicated when he will deliver his judgement.