Air fares could rise by £5 per passenger – if airlines have to compensate people for flight delays

Air fares are set to rise as airlines look to recover costs on payouts to passengers for delays in the wake of the Thomson court ruling. The Mail reports that a senior industry figure suggested fares could rise by as much as £5, with charter prices likely to increase by more than scheduled services. This comes after a passenger appealed to the Court of Appeal to get the compensation he was due for a flight delay 6 years earlier, for £975. Airlines hoped that a delay caused by a “technical fault” would not require compensation, and also that claims can only be brought for 2 years. Now the airlines fear huge compensation payments, and they will pass the costs – naturally – to the passengers. Delays of more than 3 hours affect almost 1% of UK flights which falls within Regulation 261.There are more of these delays on charter flights than scheduled flights. If every eligible passenger claimed, an extra £5 per passenger would cover the costs. Thomson say this will affect the whole airline industry, and that they intend to take this to the Supreme Court.


Flight tickets ‘to rise by £5’ per passenger – to make up for the compensation airlines have to pay out to delayed travellers

  • Senior industry figure suggested fares could rise by as much as £5
  • Passenger won battle against Thomson for a delay claim six years ago
  • Thomson believe there should be a strict two-year policy on claims

By BECI WOOD (Daily Mail)

Flight fares are set to rise as airlines look to recover costs on payouts to passengers for delays in the wake of the Thomson court ruling.

One senior industry figure suggested fares could rise by as much as £5, with charter prices likely to increase by more than scheduled services.

Last week a passenger seeking compensation for a delay on a flight six years ago was celebrating after The Court of Appeal ruled in favour of a claim against Thomson Airways.

Rising costs: Air fares are set to increase as more passenger's claim money for delayed flights

Rising costs: Air fares are set to increase as more passenger’s claim money for delayed flights


James Dawson was awarded £975 by a county court but Thomson has appealed, arguing the Montreal Convention, which says there is a two-year limit on claims.

It was the second ruling on passenger rights and EC Regulation 261 this month.

In a case against, The Court of Appeal had ruled that a technical fault that caused a delay could not be classed as an ‘extraordinary circumstance’.

Now airlines say they are being forced to recover the costs of handling the claims by increasing fares.

Lawyer Joanna Kolatsis of Hill Dickinson told Travel Weekly: ‘It is inevitable air fares will rise as the costs of handling these claims increase.

‘There is simply no other way for airlines to recover the costs. Ryanair implemented a Regulation 261 levy on tickets and, while unpopular at first, it has gathered growing sympathy among airlines.’

Delays of more than three hours affect almost 1 per cent of UK flights which falls within Regulation 261.

A senior industry source said: ‘Charter delays of more than three hours are more than double the rate of scheduled carriers’ and a significant proportion are technical. If everybody made a claim it would add £5-plus per passenger.’

A CAA spokesman told MailOnline Travel: ‘It’s difficult to estimate what this might cost passengers. It’s up to each airline.’

‘As the UK’s most on-time holiday airline, at Thomson Airways our focus continues to be ensuring that our customers reach their destination safely and promptly.

‘We believe that it is reasonable to expect that those who perceive they have suffered a real loss as a result of an unfortunate delay should be able to make their claim within two years.

‘We also continue to believe that the law stipulates this and we are therefore surprised by today’s judgment.

‘If unchallenged, this judgment could have a significant impact on the entire airline industry and specifically upon the price that all air travellers would need to pay for their flights.

‘We therefore confirm that it is our intention to seek an appeal to the Supreme Court.’ .

. Earlier:

Court rules passengers can claim for flight delays for up to 6 years, not just 2 years


An airline passenger has won his case at at the Court of Appeal over flight delays, despite waiting 6 years to bring a case against the airline. The court rejected an appeal by Thomson Airways against an earlier county court decision to award James Dawson £1,488.73.  He was delayed for 6 hours back in December 2006, going from Gatwick to the Dominican Republic. Thomson argued the claim fell outside a 2-year time limit.  Legal experts said the ruling could lead to more than 11 million passenger claims and cost airlines up to £4 billion. The judgement means airline passengers now have 6 years to bring a flight delay claim in England and Wales. There are “hundreds of litigated cases which have been stayed pending the outcome of the Dawson case, and thousands more ready to issue proceedings”. Mr Dawson sought to recover €600 euros per person from the airline, which is payable as compensation for a flight of that length under EU regulations. These do not stipulate a time limit for compensation to be claimed, leaving it up to national governments to set time limits.  It is the 2nd court case in a week over flight delays, after the Court of Appeal found in favour of a passenger over a flight delay due to a technical fault.

Ruling: Jet2 were unsuccessful in their appeal against a court ruling that could pave the way for millions to claim flight delay compensation.

Passengers denied payouts for flight delays caused by technical faults CAN have their case reviewed, regulator says

By ADAM UREN (This is Money)

Passengers denied compensation by airlines for lengthy flight delays caused by technical faults can have their case retrospectively reviewed in the wake of a landmark court case, the UK’s air regulator has said.

The Civil Aviation Authority has said that passengers can ask airlines to review their compensation claims in the wake of a Court of Appeal ruling last week that states airlines cannot reject claims for delays of longer than three hours caused by technical defects.

It followed Jet2 denying passenger Ron Huzar compensation when his flight from Manchester to Malaga was delayed by 27 hours because of a wiring defect.

Jet2 had claimed that under EU laws setting out compensation guidelines, this defect constituted ‘extraordinary circumstances’ that allows them to deny claims. However, the judges ruled that such faults are ‘inherent in the running of an airline’ and as such cannot be considered extraordinary.

The case could open the door to hundreds of thousands of claims for up to €600 being submitted by passengers previously turned down by airlines.

However, Jet2 has already announced its intention to appeal again against the decision, this time by taking it to the Supreme Court, and the CAA has warned that airlines might delay processing claims until the outcome of that case.

A CAA statement said: ‘The Court of Appeal ruled that ordinary technical problems that cause flight disruption, such as component failure and general wear and tear, should not be considered “extraordinary circumstances”.

‘This means that airlines can only cite technical faults as a reason for not paying compensation if the fault was originally caused by an event that was “out of the ordinary”.

‘So technical faults such as a part on the aircraft failing before departure will generally not be considered extraordinary circumstances.

‘The effect of the judgement is that new claims should be assessed by airlines in the light of the judgement; claims previously put to an airline can be reconsidered in the light of the judgement, if the passenger wishes, unless the passenger agreed a settlement with the airline.

‘However, claims that have already been decided by a court cannot be taken back to court unless they are within the time limit for an appeal.’

The CAA initially caused consternation among passenger representatives on Friday when they said that rejected claims could not be retrospectively reviewed in the wake of the Huzar case.

However, after checking the law again, it changed its stance.

A spokesman said: ‘The CAA apologises that our earlier advice was not clear. We will contact passengers who have previously sought our help to provide advice on the matter. The CAA will also provide guidance on the judgment to airlines.’







Airline loses flight delays appeal

19.6.2014 (BBC)