Airlines could be forced to pay compensation to UK passengers on 60,000 delayed flights

Landmark aviation case sets a 6 year time limit for claims
Passengers on a possible 60,000 delayed flights between 2009 – 2011 entitled to compensation
EUclaim, UK’s no 1 for passenger rights , sees sharp rise in compensation claims

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19 June 2014 – Today the Royal Courts of Justice made a final decision on Dawson V Thomson Airways Ltd.   Lord Justice Moore-Bick, Lord Justice Kitchin and Lord Justice Fulford dismissed the airline’s appeal and found in favour of Mr Dawson, ruling that consumers have six years from the date their flight landed to bring a flight delay claim in England and Wales under EU regulation 261/2004, in accordance with Section 9 of the Limitation Act 1980.

In the case of  Dawson V Thomson Airways Ltd the court looked at how long a passenger had to make a claim for compensation. Thomson Airways held that under the Montreal Convention a passenger had a 2 year time limit whereas the claimant Mr Dawson put forward that under Section 9(1) of the Limitation Act 1980 a passenger should be entitled to a time limit of 6 years.

If the Royal Court of Justice had decided that the Montreal Convention applied and that passengers were  only entitled to a two year window in which to claim compensation, it would have prevented  passengers who have experienced delays in 2009, 2010 and 2011 from making a claim.

On average some 20,000 flights every year fall under Regulation 261/2004 so today’s ruling means  that a passengers on a possible 60,000 delayed flights over the 2009 – 2011 period are potentially entitled to compensation. 

“The UK’s airlines average performance on the length of delays beyond three hours already trails woefully behind their European counterparts whose delay records have improved year on year since 2011.” Said Adeline Noorderhaven, Manager  EUclaim UK  “EU Regulation 261/2004 has had a positive effect on the airlines operating in Europe, they don’t want to pay compensation and this has led, in the main, to improved performances over the last three years.”

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