Airlines landed with compensation claims

In the Court of Appeal case of Huzar v Jet2.com it has been ruled that a Claimant should receive compensation after his flight was delayed for 27 hours due to a wiring defect.

According to Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004 airlines should compensate and assist passengers if their flights are delayed.  However, under the Regulation, airlines can rely on the extraordinary circumstances defence allowing them to avoid paying delayed passengers compensation.

The case of Huzar v Jet2.com has now changed the definition of extraordinary circumstances and whether delayed passengers are entitled to compensation is now up in the air.  During the Court of Appeal case Lord Justice Elias said that if an airline is to rely on the extraordinary circumstances defence it must show that the cause of the delay is out of the ordinary and not inherent to the normal exercise of the activities of the airline.  In this case the cause of the technical problem was wear and tear and this was considered to be inherent to the normal exercises of the airline, i.e. not extraordinary and therefore not a proper defence.

Jet2.com has stated that it intends to appeal.  Since 30% of delays are due to a technical problem the airline has obviously realised the gravity of the situation and clearly wants to act before millions of potential compensation claims take off.

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