Flight Delay Compensation Claims Take Off After Landmark Legal Battle


Yesterday, Jet2.com lost their case in the Court of Appeal, which sets a precedent for flight compensation claims. An airline is no longer able to withhold compensation for flight delays on the basis of 'technical difficulties', unless there are exceptional circumstances.

So What is the Law Regarding Flight Delay Compensation?

Under EU law, airlines have to compensate passengers for flights that are delayed by over three hours, unless there are 'extraordinary circumstances'. These are things that couldn't be avoided by the airline, even if they had taken all reasonable measures. Reasonable measures would include actions such as regular, thorough maintenance of the aircraft.

What Happened in This Case?

Jet 2 refused to offer compensation to Mr Ronald Huzar, after his flight was delayed by an astonishing 27 hours! They stated that the technical difficulty which delayed his flight was an extraordinary circumstance that they couldn't have reasonably prevented.

The case was fought through the courts, reaching the Court of Appeal, where they decided in favour of Mr Huzar. The court said that a technical difficulty isn't automatically an extraordinary circumstance, and then went on to list events such as terrorism, strikes, air traffic control problems and freak weather as issues that are beyond the control of the airline. Mr Huzar was awarded £526 in compensation.

What Does This Mean for Me?

If you're on a flight that flies from an EU airport, you can rely on EU law and this most recent legal decision, and make a claim for compensation after a flight delay of more than 3 hours. The amount of compensation you're entitled to depends on the distance of the flight. In the case of longer distance flights, being delayed for more than 4 hours also increases the amount you're entitled to.

If you're on a flight that lands in an EU airport, and it's an EU airline, you're also covered.

In cases like this you're able to make a claim against the operator of the flight.

However, to do this you need NOT call us, you can go direct to the Civil Aviation Authority website for more advice.

See our table below to determine how much compensation you may be entitled to:

Flight Delay Compensation Table

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