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Payouts for flights delayed by weather chaos

A landmark court case has just set a new legal precedent that could potentially open the doors to millions of pounds of compensation in cases dating back as far as six years. The case deals with passengers whose flights have been delayed by bad weather and could mean compensation of as much as £510 per person.

Under normal circumstances, airlines usually reject claims made for delays that occur as a result of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ outside of their control. This means that many passengers not only lose out on those flights but it has a knock on effect on their other travel plans. However, a court in Cheshire has ruled that a claim brought against easyJet could be rolled out against all other airlines across the UK.

The ruling states that passengers whose planes are delayed directly may not be entitled to compensation. However, if subsequent planes are affected by weather conditions and further delays ensue, then some passengers might be able to make a claim.

Paul Hinchcliffe, the managing partner of Bott and Co solicitors who made the claim on behalf of a client, said: “It’s a victory for passenger rights. Despite the fact that EasyJet made what should be a simple process very complicated for their customers, justice ultimately prevailed.”

He added: “The law is clear and airlines continue to exhibit a flagrant disregard for the regulations. The very fact that passengers have to resort to using a solicitor to recover their compensation shows the lack of respect the airlines have towards their customers.”

However, passengers should not think that the new ruling means they can do without travel insurance. Just because some companies will be forced to pay out compensation, this is no substitute for adequate travel cover when you go away. Bad weather is just one of the many things that can befall holidaymakers and it is important to make sure you have comprehensive cover in place.

Date Created: 19 September 2013

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