The Court of Appeal yesterday ruled against Jet2.com in a high profile case which will potentially open the way for unlimited numbers of claims against airlines which run services that are delayed.
A judgment handed down in Huzar v Jet2.com, helped to clarify the meaning of ‘extraordinary circumstances’, finding that the technical problems which caused the claimant’s flight to be delayed could not be defined as ‘extraordinary circumstances.’
Ron Hazar was delayed for 27 hours flying from Manchester to Malaga after a wiring defect was found in the aircraft. After losing at first instance, Huzar successfully appealed, resulting in a further appeal from the airline which unsuccessfully argued that the delay constituted an ‘extraordinary circumstance’ and therefore no compensation was due.
Des Collins, Senior Partner at Collins Solicitors in Watford, commented: “This decision will result in thousands of claims being made by those whose flights are delayed. Pretty much every technical problem can currently be defined as an ‘extraordinary circumstance’ and as such the airlines effectively hide behind this catch-all.
“Wear and tear should not be seen as an extraordinary circumstance. I suspect in the long run airlines will have to accept that compensation will ultimately become essential for passengers who are delayed through the fault of the airlines.”
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Collins Solicitors’ Transport Litigation and Dispute Resolution team has successfully acted on a number of high-profile, highly complex road, rail, aviation and shipping disputes involving both individual and class actions.
The firm regularly receives instructions following major incidents with implications for public safety and handles personal injury resulting from road traffic and other transport related accidents. Collins Solicitors has successfully represented clients at the public enquiries into the Southall and Ladbroke Grove train crashes, obtaining compensation for victims of those two crashes, as well as for victims of the Hatfield, Watford and Potters Bar train disasters. We were also the lead Solicitors in the airline Deep Vein Thrombosis action that came before the House of Lords in 2005.