There was a time when airlines used to reject airline delay compensation claims if they were filed two years after the delay. Many airlines had a gala time citing this rule to reject compensation claims and they saved a lot of money this way. However, the law had something else to say.
EU law states that at present, you can claim compensation for airline delays as far back as February 2005. This is more than a ten-year window to file claims. But the EU regulation does not apply to flights in England and Scotland, which have their own statute of limitations. This has given airlines some breathing space.
What does the statute of limitations say about flight delays in the United Kingdom
In England, Northern Ireland and Wales, airlines are not required to pay compensation if the case is more than six years old. In Scotland, the statute of limitations is five years. So if you make a flight delay compensation claim for a flight that was scheduled more than six years ago, your case is likely to be rejected.
UK Supreme court throws out Thomson Airways’ appeal on the six year rule
Thomson Airways had filed a case in the Supreme Court to overturn several rulings on the six-year rule. Fortunately for passengers, it could not make any headway. The Supreme Court squashed Thomson’s case in a judgement that it gave in October 2014. So at least for now, the six-year rule is still valid. If any airline in the UK says that it cannot entertain EU flight delay Compensation claims older than two years, remind it of the Thomson case and it will have no choice but to comply.
Note that your claim for delayed flight will be compensated only if the airline was responsible for the delay and it was not caused by any ‘extraordinary circumstance‘. Compensation rules are applicable only to EU regulated flights. Moreover, the delay is calculated taking into consideration the time of arrival and not the time of departure.
What to do if you don’t remember the flight delay time?
Many passengers don’t remember by how much time their flight was delayed, especially if the incident happened a long time ago. In such cases, don’t expect any help from the airline. They won’t give you the information.
If you are in luck, you might just find the information on the net. There are many websites that save this information. Note that you cannot quote the source in your claim form. You can use the data only to confirm to yourself that the flight was delayed.
The best thing you can do is note down the delay at the time it happened. If there was indeed a delay of over three hours (and if the delay was caused by the airline and not by any ‘extraordinary circumstance’), contact a professional flight delay claims company and they will help you file a flight delay compensation claim. The thing about this deal is, you don’t have to pay them anything unless they recover your compensation. So it’s a win-win situation for you.