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Supreme Court opens the door to compensation for millions of aircraft passengers

As a result of a recent European Supreme Court ruling, in two separate cases, could mean that airlines are forced to pay out compensation to millions of passengers for flight delays that occurred as long as six years previously.

Previously delays caused through technical faults to aircraft could mean that airline will be forced to pay out compensation to a possible two million passenger claims even though the aircraft could have been delayed through routine mechanical or electrical problems.

In the two cases that were brought before the Supreme Court, lawyers have said that the door is now open to claims that are thought to be worth an estimated £876 million. Currently passenger who are delayed are entitled to £470 worth of compensation depending on the length of the flight, on top of which expenses can be added, but only if the flight is delayed by more than three hours, and the cause of the delay is with the airlines control.

The ruling, whilst it may be good news for those who may have suffered delays is not good for flight travel in general. As we see it, the ruling could ultimately raise the cost of air travel by making budget airlines’ system of pricing totally unsustainable. Martin Lewis of was quick to point out that this swings the pendulum against airlines as a short delay for passengers who may have paid as low as £20 for a flight could be paid up to £300 in compensation. As he said; “If everyone did it, this could cripple budget airlines’ pricing models and possibly hasten the financial troubles of airlines already struggling in a tough economy.”

Of the two airlines concerned, a Thomson spokesman commented that they were considering their position, Jet2 have made no comment as yet.



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