Flight delays could lead to payouts following Appeal Court victory for passenger

Ronald Huzar, who stated he was entitled to compensation below European Union laws soon after a 27-hour delay, won his appeal


Millions of folks whose flights had been delayed could be in line for payouts following a landmark ruling in favour of a passenger who was left waiting for 27 hours following a lengthy battle for compensation.

The Appeal Court decision “opens the floodgates” for families whose holidays were ruined by lengthy delays, as they are now capable to retrospectively claim from a pot which could be well worth up to £4 billion, attorneys explained.

Judges dismissed an appeal produced by Jet2.com, the airline, who argued the delay – which was brought on by a technical defect – amounted to “extraordinary circumstances”.

Rather they sided with Ronald Huzar, the passenger, who stated he was entitled to compensation underneath European Union regulations after struggling “no small inconvenience” when the flight from Malaga, Spain, to Manchester left a day late in October 2011.

Consumer groups stated the victory has a “tremendous impact” on customers who have been wrongly denied compensation from carriers and that airlines can no longer “duck their responsibilities”.

The determination signifies technical defects are not regarded as to be an “extraordinary circumstance” underneath the terms of regulation EU261 and airlines must spend compensation to passengers for delays of much more than 3 hours.

Attorneys said the ruling brings the United kingdom in line with other European countries, due to the fact right up until now there was a lack of established situation law in Britain.

The appeal court had been asked to analyse the case following a ruling by a judge in a county court in Manchester.

Lord Justice Elias, sitting with Lord Justice Laws, and Lady Justice Gloster, mentioned: “Mr Ronald Huzar suffered no little inconvenience when his flight from Malaga to Manchester was delayed. He sought compensation pursuant to an EU regulation.

“It was not disputed that prima facie he was entitled to this kind of compensation from the airline carrier, Jet2.com, but there is an exception where the working air carrier can demonstrate that the delay is brought on by ‘extraordinary situations which could not have been avoided even if all sensible measures had been taken’.

“The … carrier alleged that the delay in this situation was the end result of a wiring defect in the fuel valve circuit which could not have been prevented by prior upkeep or prior visual inspection. It was sudden, unforeseen and unforeseeable and as this kind of amounted to an ‘extraordinary circumstance’.”

He added: “The appeal raises a point of some relevance to the airline passenger market.”

The three judges mentioned the onus of proof was on the airline to display that extraordinary conditions existed and that delay could not have been averted.

Soon after analysing legal argument, they concluded that the “extraordinary situations defence” did not apply in Mr Huzar’s situation.

Lord Justice Elias listed terrorism, strikes, air site visitors manage troubles and freak climate as occasions beyond the control of airline.

Richard Lloyd, the Which? executive director, stated: “This ruling shows that airlines cannot keep away from ducking their responsibilities by claiming that routine technical troubles are extraordinary circumstances.

“Airlines should be transparent about the causes of delay and make sure that shoppers have enough data to exercise their rights.”

Bott &amp Co, the law company that represented Mr Huzar, said: “The judgment in this situation is binding on all County Courts in England and Wales and it therefore opens the floodgates for passengers to lastly recover compensation if their flight has been cancelled or delayed due to technical issues – at least in the huge vast majority of circumstances.

“If you have previously been denied compensation with the airline employing a technical issue as a defence, then you can write to the airline once more primarily based on this ruling and request the compensation you are eligible for.”

Paul Hinchliffe, Managing Partner at the company, said: “This is a binding determination and a huge victory for passengers who have been wrongly denied compensation by airlines, amounting to billions of lbs for hundreds of thousands of buyers.”

Adeline Noorderhaven, Manager of EUclaim Uk, mentioned: “On average, thirty per cent of all delays and cancellations are induced by a technical defect.

“So the selection on Huzar v Jet2.com has a remarkable impact on air passengers in the United kingdom and airlines can no longer hide behind technical defects stating that they are extraordinary situations.”

Following the verdict Mr Huzar stated: “I’m ecstatic, just truly satisfied and relieved.”

A spokesman for Jet2.com stated: “Today’s judgement is disappointing and could, if unchallenged, have a considerable influence on the whole airline industry. The Judge mentioned that the problem ‘is not with no some difficulty’, and as such we are taking the dispute to the Supreme Court.”