Following a dramatic victory last week of two passengers against two separate British airline companies, many passengers who have been delayed on flights for more than three hours may now be entitled to compensation.

Current policy states that passengers are entitled to reimbursement if their flight is delayed for more than three hours unless it is caused by ‘exceptional circumstances’. Until now the exceptional circumstances clause was a loophole through which airline companies have been able to evade paying out vast sums in compensation, but this latest ruling has set a new precedent and we are certain that many people will now be able to receive compensations that have previously been rejected.

The court ruling has clarified what an ‘exceptional circumstance’ is by citing the Icelandic volcano in 2010 as the biggest single example, halting flights across Europe because of unavoidable meteorological conditions. Technical problems, however, DO NOT qualify as exceptional circumstances and the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority has issued a statement that declares: “ordinary technical problems that cause flight disruption, such as component failure and general wear and tear, should not be considered ‘extraordinary circumstances’.”

Ron Huzar, whose Jet2 flight from Manchester to Málaga was delayed for 27 hours because of a wiring problem in a fuel valve circuit, had been refused compensation, but having taken them to court unsuccessfully, he appealed to Manchester County Court and won. Jet2 appealed the ruling but was turned down by three senior judges in the Court of Appeal.

In a separate suit last week, James Dawson won a case questioning the two-year limit imposed by airlines for lodging claims. He was delayed by eight hours on a Thompson Airways flight in 2006, but when he applied for compensation in 2009, he was denied. Mr Dawson’s case argued that in line with the statute of limitations in England and Wales, the maximum time allowed to issue a claim should be six years. The court agreed, setting a further precedent and allowing many previously denied claims to be reconsidered.

These two rulings will have a huge impact on future payout claims, as well as previous ones, and also for any delayed flights in the past six years for which passengers have not yet sought compensation. If you have suffered delays over the past six years that you have not sought compensation for, or if you have been denied reimbursement on the grounds of exceptional circumstances or the two-year limit, then you may well be entitled to compensation.

Contact us at Perez Legal so that we can review your case and see what we can do for you!

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