Airlines must prove that delays were caused by extraordinary circumstances. Here’s how we helped two members receive £926 compensation in court.
Last summer, Which? Legal members Paula and Stephen were due to catch a Jet2 flight home to Leeds International after their holiday in Alicante.
Their flight was delayed for more than three hours. Jet2 told passengers that this was caused by fog and a mechanical fault with the plane.
When they got home, Paula and Stephen applied for compensation for the delay, but Jet2 rejected their claim.
It said that the poor weather conditions were out of its control, and so it didn’t need to pay out.
What is the ‘EC 261/2004′ regulation?
We advised Paula and Stephen that their flight was covered under ‘EC 261/2004’.
This European Regulation gives passengers the right to claim compensation if their flight has been delayed for an extended period or cancelled.
Compensation amounts depend on the distance of travel and the length of delay. In this case, each passenger was entitled to claim €400. Jet2 maintained that it was not liable, because of the weather.
But we felt it hadn’t given enough evidence to support this. We gave guidance to Paula and
Stephen on how to escalate their case to the county court.
At the hearing, Jet2 was criticised for failing to disclose the weather reports to support its case, and the couple were awarded £926.
An airline does not have to pay compensation for a delay or cancellation if it was caused by an extraordinary circumstance beyond its control.
The airline must also have taken measures to keep the flight on time. Dangerous weather conditions can be classed as an extraordinary circumstance.
But mechanical issues are usually within the airline’s control because the airline’s fleet should be kept well maintained.
In this case the court found Jet2 liable for compensation, plus court fees and reasonable expenses.
Have you ever been denied compensation for a flight delay? What was the reason given?