The Supreme Court has turned down appeal applications from Jet2 and Thomson in two landmark flight delay cases.
The Court of Appeal judgments in Huzar V Jet2 and Dawson V Thomson, both handed down in July 2014, now stand as good law.
This means the doors are opened for thousands of passengers to make compensation claims against airlines.
An estimated 2.36 million passengers per year in England and Wales are set to benefit from the Huzar decision, equivalent to approximately £876 million in compensation claims.
The Huzar ruling says airlines must pay flight compensation for qualifying delays caused by technical problems as these are not considered an ‘extraordinary circumstance’ under flight compensation regulation EU261.
Meanwhile, the Dawson case has opened up an estimated £3.89 billion in historic flight compensation.
The Dawson judgment confirms that consumers in England and Wales can make claims for flight delays dating back as far as six years.
David Bott, Senior Partner at Bott & Co, said: “This is a landmark day not just for Mr Huzar and Mr Dawson but for passengers everywhere. Two journeys which started with a delay have now finished, nearly eight years later in Mr Dawson’s case.
“Bott & Co has thousands of clients whose claims have been on hold pending today’s decisions. We will now be writing to the airlines, asking them to acknowledge the judgments, recognise their obligations and deal with these claims as promptly as possible. If you’ve previously submitted a claim to the airline but have been turned down on the grounds of a technical defect or because your claim is more than two years old, we recommend you resubmit your claim.
“The Supreme Court’s decision has provided total clarity in the law, which will benefit both airlines and passengers going forward.”
Mr Huzar, 58, from Stockport issued a claim after a 27 hour delay caused by a wiring defect on a Jet2 flight from Malaga to Manchester on 26th October 2011.
Mr Dawson issued proceedings following a six and a half hour delay on Christmas Day 2006 from Gatwick to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
Thomson issued a statement following this morning’s announcement saying: “We believe that it is reasonable to expect that those who perceive they have suffered a real loss as a result of an unfortunate delay should be able to make their claim within two years. We are surprised and disappointed to note the decision of the Supreme Court as we believe our position is sound in law. We will now review this position based on the court’s decision.”
Travelmole October 31, 2014