Airlines could be forced to pay out millions after a judge awarded a husband and wife £680 for a delayed flight. Last year the European Court of Justice ruled compensation could be awarded if the airline was at fault but the judgement at a court in Staffordshire marks the first time it has been implemented in the UK.
Julian Bray Aviation analyst commented: "Thomas Cook said it had offered Mr Halsall more money than the figure eventually awarded by the court, but as the Court has now ruled on this case, the floodgates could be opened as passengers seek compensation through the Courts backed by case law."
Airlines will still be able to avoid paying out if they can prove that the delays were outside their control'. The maximum amount that can be awarded to those affected is £480, plus expenses, for hold-ups longer than three hours.
This case relates to Jeff and Joyce Halsall, from Kidsgrove, who took Thomas Cook to court in 2009.
The couple had suffered a 22-hour delay on a flight between Tenerife to the East Midlands because of a technical fault. A judge initially dismissed the couple’s claims but Mr Halsall decided to appeal after learning of the European ruling. And on Monday the couple were successful.
Raymond Veldkamp, owner of website Flight Delayed helping travellers fight for compensation, estimates around £73million is owed to travellers across Europe for the past five years.
Contributor: JULIAN BRAY, Media Analyst, Aviation, Politics & Travel, Economics, Broadcaster & Journalist Julian Bray NUJ Life Member, Full EQUITY Member UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476 ISDN2 +44(0)1733 555 319 (UK HOME ISDN 01733 555319) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK