A tourist awarded damages after fearing he had contracted "economy class syndrome" has sparked worry among Britain's airlines of similar cases to come.
The 56-year-old Cheshire man won £500 compensation from tour operator JMC over fears he had come down with deep vein thrombosis.
Company director Brian Horan said he suffered an "agonising" eight-and-a-half hour flight from Manchester to Calgary in Canada.
A judge at Macclesfield County Court, threw out Horan's claims about DVT because he had no medical evidence but accepted he had suffered discomfort.
The businessman, who originally sought £5,000 through the Small Claims Court, was awarded £500.
Six foot tall Horan said he had complained to tour reps after the flight on board a Boeing 767 but was forced to endure a similarly cramped flight home.
Although the tests found no trace of DVT Horan still complained to the tour operator JMC of the discomfort and the medical scare. When his complaints were "fobbed off" he decided to take out a private prosecution.
Judge Andrew Wallace, sitting at Macclesfield County Court, threw out Horan's claims about DVT due to a lack of medical evidence.
But he accepted the businessman had suffered discomfort and found in his favour.
A JMC spokesman said the company was currently taking legal advice and considering an appeal.
Horan said he hoped the victory would encourage other air passengers to "stop the holiday companies treating us like cattle".
He said the enjoyment of his holiday - a skiing trip to Canada - was "totally wiped out" by having to travel back in what he described as "a veal crate".
A JMC Holidays spokesman said: "JMC is extremely disappointed by the conduct of the hearing and the decision to award damages for discomfort on a CAA licensed and operative aircraft with a valid certificate of airworthiness."
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