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Court of Appeal Upholds Claim for Flight Delay Compensation More Than Two Years Old

Posted: June 19th, 2014

The Court of Appeal has upheld a claim for flight delay compensation more than two years old in favour of a passenger who experienced a flight delay in 2006.

In early 2012, James Dawson from Peterborough made a claim for flight delay compensation against Thompson Airways. James had suffered an avoidable eight-hour delay in December 2006 when there were insufficient crew available for his flight from London Gatwick to the Dominican Republic.

According to EU regulation 261/2004, James should have been entitled to €600 compensation per passenger, even though his claim for flight delay compensation was more than two years old – the length of time usually allowed under the Montreal Convention for claimants to bring claims against the company they are travelling with.

Thomas Airways rejected James´ claim, but James appealed the decision – stating that EU regulation 261/2004 allows passengers to claim for flight delay compensation more than two years old because the legislation is based on the contract laws of member states, and that the Statute of Limitations for contract law in the UK is six years.

James pursued his claim for a flight delay that was more than two years old and, earlier this year, the Cambridge County Court found in his favour – judges ruling that EU regulation 261/2004 superseded the Montreal Convention. The court ordered Thomson Airways to pay James £975 flight delay compensation (€600 for two passengers) plus £513.73 interest.

Thomson Airways appealed the ruling of the Cambridge County Court, and the claim for flight delay compensation more than two years old was heard again this week at the Court of Appeal in London. At the end of the hearing, the appeal court upheld James´ claim and repeated the verdict of Cambridge County Court that EU law should apply in domestic claims for delayed flight compensation.

It is likely that Thomson Airways will defend their point of view all the way to the Supreme Court. A spokesperson said “this judgment could have a significant impact on the entire airline industry and specifically upon the price that all air travellers would need to pay for their flights”.

Categories: Personal Injury

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