A year on since the Court of Appeal ruled that technical problems cannot be used as a defence by an airline to avoid paying flight delay compensation, tens of thousands of passengers are still waiting for millions of pounds worth of compensation.
According to law firm Bott & Co, two claimants involved in the breakthrough Huzar v Jet2.com case have not been paid their compensation to date as airlines have used various stalling tactics to avoid paying compensation. These include changing the reason for the delay on the same claim;
using a list of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ with no legal standing whatsoever to defend claims; and putting claims on hold pending the outcome of test cases.
They have also argued that passengers only have two years to issue court proceedings, despite the Supreme Court ruling that they have six years.
Bott & Co, which represented Ronald Huzar all the way to the Supreme Court, still has 19,500 delayed passengers who should have received compensation by now. It says that this makes up €8,385,000 in unpaid compensation (based on the average claim of €430 per person).
Bott & Co flight delay lawyer Kevin Clarke said that the airlines pursued the claims all the way through the legal system because they wanted clarity.
“It is regrettable that having gotten the clarity they sought, they then spent the next 12 months continuing to fight cases and raise different arguments,” he said.
“The history of the regulation has been ten years of complicated legal argument, after complicated legal argument, and despite all of the pro-passenger judgments handed down we still have to take these claims to court to secure compensation.
“This judgment means that if you issue court proceedings and you were delayed by a technical defect you should receive compensation. It’s a shame that airlines still push people into issuing court proceedings by ignoring genuine claims or running arguments which the courts have said are not valid.”