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Weather cancellation payouts and the UK storm

We recently reported on a landmark court case in the UK that potentially opened doors for claims dating back six years for plane cancellations due to bad weather. The court ordered EasyJet to compensate passengers for delays caused by weather that caused them to miss a connecting flight.

The court ordered that claims of up to £510 per person should be paid in the circumstances that airlines have often claimed have been out of their control. The court ruled that if the weather was bad at their embarkation point they were not entitled to claim. However, if subsequent planes were not at their correct destinations because of weather, then they were entitled to make a claim.

All of this was particularly relevant this week when the UK was battered by its worst storm since the 1987 hurricane. Hundreds of flights from major UK airports were cancelled causing chaos across the country and having major consequences across Europe too. With so many planes grounded, thousands of connecting flights have been affected and millions of passenger delayed as a result.

Around 20% of all flights at Heathrow were cancelled as winds of up to 90 miles an hour tore across runways. Heathrow warned that ‘passengers due to travel on Monday should check the status of their flight with their airline before travelling to the airport’. Gatwick airport were making a similar statement as the South East was particularly badly hit by the weather. Luton and Bristol airports managed to avoid canceling any flights.

What this all means is that many passengers may now be entitled to compensation for connecting flights missed thanks to the disruption caused by the storm. However, those making single journeys will not be eligible and will simply have to wait it out or miss the flight altogether. This could be disastrous news for many people and families hoping to get away over the half term break.

It also underlines just how important it is to make sure you have the right travel insurance in place to provide cover for a number of unforeseen events on holiday.

Date Created: 29 October 2013

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