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Flight Delay Compensation - Court of Appeal

Kabul, Afghanistan
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Flight Delay Compensation - Court of Appeal

For those of you interested in the vexed issue of EU 261/04 flight delay compensation, the UK Court of Appeal will give its judgement on Wednesday morning in the case of Huzar.

Huzar is the case about whether, and in what circumstances, technical problems with airplanes can ever be considered "extraordinary circumstances" (and thus not subject to compensation). Though a European Court ruling from 2008 ("Wallentin") said that such failures generally could not be considered ECs, there were enough ambiguities in the judgement to allow airlines to try to wriggle out of paying compensation.

Regardless of your view on this issue (cue the same old debate ad nauseum) let's hope for some indisputable clarity so passengers know where they stand, one way or another.

Romford, United...
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1. Re: Flight Delay Compensation - Court of Appeal

Thanks for the heads up, in your case did they ever appeal to a higher court or did they decide to let sleeping dogs lie?

Kabul, Afghanistan
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2. Re: Flight Delay Compensation - Court of Appeal

No they paid up straight away! But Monarch's contempt for the Court's process, and the consequent criticisms of the judge, meant they would have had short shrift.

(You can read what the judge said in my case here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/407bxiequucdzzr/1802p367app.doc).

Salisbury, United...
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3. Re: Flight Delay Compensation - Court of Appeal

Makes interesting reading and shows Monarch's utter contempt for the court proceedings. The mistakes they make are laughable.

Have you received payment?

Exeter, United...
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4. Re: Flight Delay Compensation - Court of Appeal

It may well be that the Court of Appeal will not give guidance as to 'extraordinary' circumstances but merely make a fact specific ruling in relation to the specific circumstances that related to Jet2 in this occasion.

Let's see what the Judgment states before getting hopes up.

Kabul, Afghanistan
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5. Re: Flight Delay Compensation - Court of Appeal

I think that is unlikely. I sat in for the hearing and it was clear that the Judges knew that they were being asked to clarify principles of law and indeed had quite an esoteric debate about the concepts of "inherence" and "control" (which are part of the Wallentin test).

But you're right, I guess, that it's unclear just how comprehensive and definitive the Court's guidance may be. I remain hopeful ...

Exeter, United...
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6. Re: Flight Delay Compensation - Court of Appeal

What invitations are expressed to them and how they decide the ratio of the judgment is often two different things.

Apiying the common law allows a great deal of wiggle room.

Edited: 09 June 2014, 22:33
Romford, United...
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7. Re: Flight Delay Compensation - Court of Appeal

Vauban-FYI the Court of Appeal rejected the appeal on all points so expect the small claim courts to be clogged up with previously denied claims unless the carriers concerned decide to make a clean breast of things and pay up on those that have been persistent on this matter-might be the least financially painful option?

Kabul, Afghanistan
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8. Re: Flight Delay Compensation - Court of Appeal

Yes I saw this - great news! Technical faults are not extraordinary circumstances if they are caused by ordinary things like wear and tear. So cases that were stayed in the small claims court ought now be resolved quickly.

One caveat though: I gather that Jet2.com asked for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court, but that this was denied. I think (I'm not a lawyer) that the airline can still petition the Supreme Court directly to take the case, so not sure how this would affect stayed cases. No doubt it will become clear idc!

Exeter, United...
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9. Re: Flight Delay Compensation - Court of Appeal

Indeed, they will seek permission notwithstanding Laws J initially refusing leave.

On matters of public importance they will likely be granted leave.

I ought to get a chance to read the full judgment by the end of the week.

Norddeutschland
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10. Re: Flight Delay Compensation - Court of Appeal

An old saying sais "Justitia non calculat" but it seems this time here some judges did calculate and did calculate correctly.

Just some very easy mathematical analysis shows two basic facts (we are not talking opinion here!)

1. Technical faults due to normal tear and wear are by the very definition of it not extraordinary circumstances but perfectly within the normal range of operations in fact, they are pretty much unavoidable.

2. The amount of those technical faults during the operation of an airline is 100% dependend upon managment decisions and nothing else.

So if the airlines make a decision they can hardly claim that the consequneces of the decision are extraordinary.

So in the end if technical faults would have been able to get rid of compensation claqim, the court would have been given one party of a contract (airline) the possibility to arbitrarily and at its sole discretion change the contract they have with party B (passenger).

After a lot of stries here about people who have been forced to spent hours (and sometimes days) and receiving no compensation at all in the USA and Asia once again I am glad EU 261 is here and I hope it gets not watered down by the EU.