Technical Defects Not ‘Extraordinary’ In Flight Delay Claims
According to court
Ruling Confirms Air Passengers Entitled To Compensation If They Are Delayed Due To Technical Defect. A senior Judge has ruled in an appeal hearing against Jet2.com that airlines are incorrect to deny passengers compensation by claiming that technical defects which develop in-flight are extraordinary circumstances.
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Previously airlines had tried to reject claims on the basis that technical defaults were unforeseeable and beyond their control, but this ruling confirms passengers are still entitled to compensation.
The ruling could allow thousands of passengers to claim if their flights are delayed over three hours, cancelled, or they are denied boarding. The Judgment was made after a hearing on 8th October 2013 at Manchester County Court, where the judge revealed that three separate passengers had also tried to claim compensation for this same flight, but on each occasion the District Judges had failed to apply the law correctly.
“This Judgment has provided much needed clarity to this complicated area of law.” Coby Benson, Bott & Co
His Honour Judge Platts ruled that the issue is not whether the technical problem was expected or unexpected, but that the airlines have a duty to resolve these technical issues and the resolution of those issues is firmly in the control of the airline, therefore it cannot be an ‘extraordinary circumstance’ under EC Regulation 261/2004.
The claimant, Mr Ronald Huzar had his own claim originally rejected in June 2013 so he contacted leading flight compensation law firm Bott & Co, who lodged the appeal on his behalf. It was acknowledged by the judge that he had benefited from the detailed argument put forward by Bott & Co, which, the previous claimants may have struggled to do without the necessary legal expertise.
The ruling was published exactly one year on from the landmark Nelson ruling in October 2012 which confirmed passenger’s entitlement to compensation when their flight is delayed by more than 3 hours.
Since they were founded in February this year, Bott & Co’s Aviation Team have recovered nearly €1,000,000 in compensation for passengers. Coby Benson, Technical Legal Manager of Bott & Co’s Aviation Team said: “It is pleasing that a senior Judge has recognised that the purpose of the regulation is to strengthen the rights of passengers and afford them a high level of protection when travelling by air.
The Judge has confirmed that airlines cannot argue a technical defect is extraordinary simply because it is unexpected, unforeseeable or unavoidable. This Judgment has provided much needed clarity to this complicated area of law.”
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