Allen v Jet2.com Limited – further delay by airlines

Background

Under EU Regulation 261/2004 passengers are entitled to compensation of up to 600 Euros for any flight which is delayed for 3 hours or more. An available defence for the airlines is if the delay was caused by extraordinary circumstances. There is, however, no definition in the regulations of what an extraordinary circumstance might be, and so airlines have been (unsuccessfully) attempting to argue that a technical fault should be included as an extraordinary circumstance.

This issue has already been decided in Jet2.com Limited v Huzar, which the Court of Appeal heard in 2014. The final judgement in this case is that airlines must pay compensation to passengers for delayed flights caused by technical problems. You can read our article on this case here: http://www.michaellewin.co.uk/news/delayed-or-cancelled-flights/time-barred-claims-due-terms-conditions-airline/

 

Allen v Jet2.com Limited

On the 25th February 2015 the Liverpool County Court heard an application made by the defendant airlines the case of Allen v Jet2.Com Limited. The airlines were requesting claims for delayed flight compensation caused by a technical fault to be stayed until the case of C. van der Lans v Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij (“Van Der Lans”) had been heard in the Court of Justice of the European Union.

The passengers view was that their claims had already been delayed whilst the airlines waited for the Supreme Court’s decision. To delay it further would be unjust and cause unnecessary delay when the Court of Appeal has already decided this issue.

 

The Decision

District Judge Jenkinson dismissed the defendants appeal. In doing so he stated “The airlines have (as they are fully entitled to do) fought these issues at every judicial level in England and Wales. This court has stayed claims to facilitate this. However, in my judgment, a line should now be drawn. Justice delayed is justice denied”.

 

Conclusion

This judgement is clear, and airlines should now stop their delay tactics and start paying out compensation for delayed flights. Unfortunately many airlines will continue to write to passengers telling them that they cannot deal with the request for compensation until the case of Van Der Lans has been dealt with.

If you find yourself receiving a response such as this from a defendant airline, get in touch with us to find out if we could help. We may also be able to claim interest for you from the date which your flight was expected to land, which could be hundreds of pounds.

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