LONDON, June 12 Airlines flying out of Britain
could face large rises in the number of passengers who can claim
compensation for delayed and cancelled flights after a court
ruling on Thursday.
Britain's air regulator said that airlines would no longer
be able to cite standard technical faults as a reason for not
paying compensation after a court of appeal ruled in favour of a
The only circumstance when an airline would be able to avoid
paying compensation would be if the technical fault was a result
of an "out of the ordinary" event such as a lightning strike,
extreme winter weather or strike action.
Under the current interpretation of the rules, a technical
issue which causes flight disruption can be deemed an
"extraordinary circumstance" and airlines do not have to
compensate passengers. Passengers are entitled to compensation
if their flight is cancelled or delayed by more than three hours
The ruling will now be subject to a further appeal by Jet2,
a small British airline based in Leeds, northern England, which
is at the centre of the court case. It will take its case to
Britain's Supreme Court.
"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," Britain's air
regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement.
Jet2 said in a statement that the latest judgement
contradicted an agreement between European air bodies that
unexpected technical defects were considered extraordinary for
the purposes of compensation.
Passengers can make claims retrospectively. Anyone who has
been affected by delays because of technical reasons over the
last six years and has not already had a claim rejected, can
make a claim, the CAA said.
Passengers can claim between 250 and 600 euros in
compensation depending on the length of the journey.
A spokesman for British Airways, part of IAG, said
it was assessing the implications of the legal judgement.
easyJet said it would study the ruling in more detail.
(Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)