Since the tightening of the EC Regulation 261/2004 in October 2012, floods of compensation claims have been filed against airlines. With the average compensation payout being 400 Euros it has cost airlines hundreds of millions Euros in compensation. However, it must be remembered that the airlines are not the victims as the passengers have had to endure such long flight delays. These flight delays range from 3 hours for the ‘lucky ones’ up to 72 hours for the not so fortunate! Over the past few years airlines have tried to recover this money via other means. Whether this is through increasing the cost of flight tickets or via hidden charges they are receiving their money back. The most shocking discovery was that in April 2011, Ryanair introduced a €2 surcharge on all bookings claiming that it was necessary in order to cover more than €100 million that the airline had paid out over the previous year due to flight delays, cancellations or providing care (hotel accommodation, food, beverages etc). Flight delay compensation pay-outs, along with the recession and the fact that the price of airline fuel has increased hugely over the past few years results in much higher fares.
As well as the hidden charges that airlines are adding onto flight tickets, the most aggravating method of avoiding paying flight compensation is the fact that the airlines are continuously ignoring or rejecting compensation claims. They simply do not want to cooperate or abide by EC Regulation 261/2004. Airlines are not concerned about passenger’s rights or about following the correct guidelines to ensure their welfare. The airlines fight against the European ruling and find ways to wriggle out of paying passengers the money that they deserve. The most common excuse that airlines give is that the flight delay was caused by an ‘extraordinary circumstance’ because if an extraordinary circumstance occurs the airline (by law) is not required to pay any compensation. Airlines also previously tried to defend themselves by using mechanical faults or technical failures as excuses. However, last week a new ruling was made after Jet2.com lost their appeal after being taken to court by Mr Huzar for using technical failure as an excuse for not paying compensation. Mr Huzar won the court case and so the result is that technical failures have essentially been ruled out by UK courts as a legitimate excuse. Now, airlines will have to think of something else to defend themselves.
If you want to receive the payments you are due for a flight delay then the best thing you can do is file a compensation claim against them. The regulations are much stricter than before and passenger rights are strengthening. It is estimated that millions of passengers with similar claims are going to come forward following on from the success of the Huzar case. If you have already made a claim that has been rejected there is nothing stopping you from appealing it. Contact Blueway Limited if you are interested in making a compensation claim.