UNISON helped a holidaymaker treble the compensation received from an airline after she was injured in an aeroplane toilet cubicle.

The member, from Forest Hall in Newcastle, received 14 stitches in the back of her head after a metal cabinet fell off the wall.

The accident happened when the 55-year-old took a return flight to Newcastle from Kuala Lumpur, via Amsterdam, following a holiday.

The North Tyneside Council worker, who has been a UNISON member for years, needed internal and external stitching and also suffered injuries to her back, neck, thigh and coccyx.

Stitches needed in head

The airline, KLM, offered to settle the claim for £2,000, but after negotiations with UNISON’s representatives, they increased it to £6,500.

KLM denied liability.

Mrs Y said: “The accident really shook me and I haven’t flown long haul since.

“I ended up with 14 stitches in my head and passed out in the airplane toilet.

“As part of my membership UNISON provides free legal services and I knew that they would support me in this claim.

“Without UNISON and Thompsons’ help I would not have received the maximum amount of compensation achievable.

“I would urge all members to use this facility if they are unfortunate to have an accident while they are on holiday.”

Legal Advice after Accident on Holiday or Accident Abroad

Lynne Robson, UNISON’s head of Local Government for the Northern Region, said: “Too often our members have what is supposed to be a relaxing holiday, destroyed by accidents which could easily have been avoided. We are only too pleased to support holiday injury claims.

“During the Christmas period some of our members will be thinking about taking a break abroad and they can be reassured that if they do get hurt due to someone else's fault as part of the free legal service for UNISON members we would be happy to help.”

Fiona Belgian, from Thompsons Solicitors, said: “We helped Mrs Y to achieve three times more compensation than was initially offered by KLM’s insurers.

“In our experience insurers will often try and pay out less where people deal with them direct, with UNISON’s backing we were able to make them pay what the claim was really worth.”