14 JULY 2014

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Article from BTNews 14 JULY 2014

COMMENT: Jet2 flights court ruling

Readers who have been following the court battle between Mr Ronald Huzer (in effect his compensation specialist lawyers) and jet2.com airlines may recall the BTN COMMENT 16 June in which we said that “the only winners could be the lawyers with the hurt party gaining a sum that was not worthwhile fighting for.”  Mr Huzer was seeking damages for a delayed flight far in excess of that currently offered under EU law.

At that time the High Court ruled in favour of Mr Huzer but did leave the airline the option of appealing.

Based on the ruling Virgin Atlantic has now paid out compensation (see below) and it is rumoured that Monarch Airlines is holding back from dealing with a backlog of cases said to be “substantial” with many millions of pounds at stake.

Jet2 has now decided to appeal.  The cat is among the pigeons.

At the time of the ruling law firm Bott & Co, which represented Mr Huzar, predicted it would lead to thousands of claims against airlines.

However, it says Jet2's decision to appeal to the Supreme Court means that now those claims would be put on hold for months and maybe years.

It will take at least three to four months for the court to decide whether to allow Jet2's appeal to proceed as it closes in August until October.  One would hope that none of the Judges is on a delayed flight during the holiday period.  Presumably standing down would be called for.

If the appeal is allowed, Bott & Co said that passengers might have to wait at least a year and possibly up to four years for the outcome.

The firm said it was representing around 10,000 other passengers with claims against airlines under EU 261 for long delays caused by aircraft technical problems.

Business Travel News stands by its original COMMENT.  Compensation needs to cover out of pocket expenses and should reflect the fare paid.  A wholesale rise in so-called ‘damage payments’ and consequential expenses will only put up the cost of flying.  A proper balance has to be struck with perhaps a maximum payout written into the travel (contract).  This is what happens in other areas.  Common sense must prevail.

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