12 June 2014 at 17.00 GMT
The Civil Aviation Authority admits there will be a “large increase” in the number of passengers entitled to flight delay compensation following this week’s ruling against Jet2.com.
The regulator is advising passengers of changes to their rights to compensation for delayed and cancelled flights, following the Jet2 v Huzar case at the Court of Appeal on Wednesday.
The ruling confirmed that normal technical problems that cause flight disruption such as component failure and general wear and tear should not be considered “extraordinary circumstances”.
This means that from now on, airlines can only cite technical faults as a reason for not paying compensation if the fault was originally caused by an event that was “out of the ordinary,” the CAA said.,
Standard technical faults such as a part on the aircraft failing before departure, will generally not be considered extraordinary circumstances.
The ruling came into effect yesterday, so airlines should base any decisions on new compensation claims on the court’s decision.
The judgment does not affect claims that airlines rejected prior to Wednesday, so it is unlikely that airlines will re-visit previously rejected claims, according to the CAA.
“There are also likely to be further developments on the issue, with Jet2 confirming it will appeal the decision,” the regulator added.
“This may mean airlines delay processing new claims involving technical faults until the outcome of the appeal.
“However, if the Court of Appeal’s decision stands, it will mean a large increase in the number of passengers entitled to compensation for delayed and cancelled flights.”
The authority is to contact passengers who have previously sought its help to provide advice on the matter, and further information will also be available from caa.co.uk/passengers. The CAA will also provide guidance on the judgment to airlines.
While the CAA does not have the power to force airlines to pay individual passengers’ claims, it can take legal action where there is evidence of systematic non-compliance with the regulation by an airline.
Sourced from Travel Weekly