Passengers who experience the pain of delayed or cancelled flights have the right to UK flight delay compensation as per European laws. According to the EU Regulation 261/2004, the amount of compensation can be as much as €600 in the event of their flight arriving at their destination at a time considered to be late (more than three hours).
Previously, airlines regularly used to refuse paying for delays due to the aircraft’s technical fault. The companies claimed that this malfunction should be counted as extraordinary events. However, in 2013 & 2014, passengers filing UK airline claims received a boost when landmark rulings by the European Union’s Court of Justice declared that the carriers must compensate all UK airline claims in case the cause was a technical fault.
In a ruling delivered in January, 2013, a Judge in Staffordshire implemented the decision originally created by the European Court of Justice in 2012 that UK flight delay compensation carries merit. The judge awarded Jeff Halsall and his wife Joyce Halsall €950 when it found that their flight back to the UK from Tenerife was more than 22 hours late. Their torturous journey was claimed to be the result of a mechanical fault.
The Halsall couple initially filed their case in court in 2009. However, a judge was quick to dismiss their claim. The airline concerned-Thomas Cook- said that the delay was due to “exceptional circumstances” beyond the control of the company.
Jeff Halsall appealed against such a decision after he learned of European legislation that allowed individuals to claim an amount ranging from €250 to €600 where there had been a delay exceeding three hours. The Halsall couple subsequently won the case, when the Judge of the Stoke-on-Trent County Court instructed the airline to pay them £680 for compensation and also the expenses that were incurred whilst pursuing legal action.
In another case, the court ruled that Ronald Huzar of Stockport was eligible for compensation from Jet2 when his flight to Manchester was held up for 27 hours due to a technical fault. The airline company tried to pass the malfunction off as an “extraordinary circumstance”. The court rejected the airline company’s appeal.
In another case, James Dawson filed a claim for UK flight delay compensation after he suffered a delay of six hours on a flight to the Dominican Republic from Gatwick Airport on December 25, 2006. The airline concerned, Thomson Airways, challenged his claim as Dawson had failed to file the case until 2012. The court, however, gave a ruling in Dawson’s favour, which meant that passengers now have six years within which they can apply for claims via the UK courts.
Numerous customer groups celebrated such legal decisions. They said that these kinds of rulings will hopefully ensure that airlines will treat passengers with more respect in the future and end the culture of rejecting the majority of claims.