On Thursday 19th June 2014 the judgment of the Thomson Airways v James Dawson case was announced to the public. The courts were in favour of James Dawson which was extremely good news for passengers.The ruling at the previous court hearing had been made in favour of James Dawson when he made a compensation flight delay claim against Thomson Airways. However due to Thomson appealing the decision, the case was put on hold for several months while it was investigated further. During this time the case generated much media attention, as the appeal decision was of considerable importance to both airlines and passengers. Mr Dawson was flying from Gatwick to the Dominican Republic back in December 2006 when he was subject to a 6-hour flight delay.
The reason for the delayed departure was due to crew shortages caused by sickness which caused Mr Dawson to arrive at his destination after the scheduled arrival time. According to EC Regulation 261/2004 a passenger is entitled to claim compensation of 250, 300, 400 or 600 Euros depending on the length of the delay and the flight length itself. As Mr Dawson’s flight was over 3500km with a delay over 4 hours he was entitled to €600 per passenger under European law. To be entitled to claim compensation the cause of the delay would have to be the airline’s fault – crew shortages definitely classifies as within the airline’s control and airlines should be able to cope in such situations when flight problems occur. In addition to this, passengers have up to six years from the date of flight to claim compensation- which is also clearly stated in the European Regulation 261/2004. Even though Mr Dawson was well within his rights to claim compensation, Thomson Airways were arguing that he should have filed his claim within two years of the flight delay. Thomson were defending themselves using the Montreal Convention which in one Article states this two-year statue of limitation, however the convention also states that the period should be determined by the law of the country hearing the case and in the UK and Wales this is 6 years from the date of the flight.Thomson were simply clutching at straws and were doing anything in their power to deter paying delayed flight compensation.
As the Courts rejected Thomson Airways appeal then all other similar claims are now open to be contested. However, Thomson Airways have announced they intend to ask for leave to appeal the decision to the UK Supreme Court and they have 28 days from the date of judgment to do this. It is unjust for airlines to repeatedly reject legitimate claims making the process incredibly difficult for passengers. Airlines will no longer be able to use the Montreal Convention as an excuse and so passengers can continue submitting claims dating back as far as six years. How to claim for a flight delay – if you have been subject to a flight delay and wish to make a compensation claim contact a flight delay refunds company. Blueway Limited is a flight delay refunds company who can assist you with the process and advise you every step of the way. You will not have to go through the daunting court process alone as they will manage your claim from start to finish including representation at court. The benefits of seeking the assistance of these services are primarily the fact that you will not have to dedicate any time whatsoever to reclaiming your compensation.