Technical faults; No longer a loophole for airlines

Under EU law, passengers delayed for more than three hours are entitled to up to 600 Euros in compensation unless their flight was delayed by extraordinary circumstances, which were outside of the control of the airline.

Airlines’ attempt at avoiding payment

Previously airlines have been utilising a loophole in the EU regulations to avoid paying passengers compensation they were entitled to, by claiming that a technical fault, such as component failures or mechanical issues with the plane, was an ‘extraordinary circumstance’. This meant that hundreds of thousands of passengers were not receiving the compensation they were entitled to for delayed or cancelled flights.

Technical faults are not extraordinary circumstances

On 31 October 2014 the Supreme Court of England effectively confirmed that a technical fault does not constitute an ‘extraordinary circumstance’ as it is something which is within the control of the airline and therefore passengers delayed by aircraft with a technical fault are entitled to compensation.

When travelling by car on a long journey we will conduct checks such as checking for fuel, checking the oil and ensuring the car has had its MOT. Likewise airlines should have conducted routine checks of the planes and prepared for technical faults as a matter of course.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has now called on the airlines to comply with the law on compensation for disrupted flights, and pay up!

What this means to you as a passenger

Statistics suggest that delayed flight passengers have failed to claim £3.2billion owed to them in compensation. Over the past 10 years, just 2% of travellers have claimed the compensation, missing out on billions of pounds over the decade.

With airlines trying to avoid paying the compensation and passengers being unaware of their rights, it is estimated that an average of £385million a year of compensation is being unclaimed.

In the last 3 months 28% of all scheduled flights at UK airports were delayed or cancelled. This is not acceptable.

Due to the decision that delays resulting from a technical fault DO attract compensation, there has never been a better time for delayed or cancelled flight passengers to claim what they are entitled to.

If you have been affected by a delayed or cancelled flight, fill out the form to see if you are entitled to compensation.

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