18 JANUARY 2016

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Article from BTNews 18 JANUARY 2016

Flight delay compensation

A Judge has ruled in favour of passengers in the Reading County Court stating that that lightning strikes are not one of the ‘extraordinary circumstances’ that excuse airlines from paying flight delay compensation.  The case is Michael Evans v Monarch Airlines.

European Flight Delay Regulation EC 261/2004 says that passengers delayed by three hours or more in the last six years may be able to claim up to €600 recompense, as long as the delay was not caused by extraordinary circumstances.

Her Honour Judge Melissa Clarke has ruled as follows:  “Damage caused by a lightning strike may well be an unexpected flight safety shortcoming, but that does not make it an exceptional circumstance.”

Although the decision is not legally binding on other courts, it is the lead case on the issue of lightning strikes according to the compensation lawyers handling the case.  They say the decision will be highly persuasive in flight delay cases involving lightning in English and Welsh courts

Monarch argued that when a plane has to undergo unscheduled mandatory check after a lightning strike, this should be considered an ‘unexpected flight safety shortcoming’.  Judge Clarke said: “I give no weight to it [the CAA’s extraordinary circumstances list].  It is not legally binding.”  www.euclaim.co.uk

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OUR READERS' FINEST WORDS (All times and dates are GMT)

All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum


Richard Dawnay, Ryde

Lets leave aviation to those who know what they are talking about. If an aircraft has been involved in a lightning strike it HAS to undergo SAFETY checks. There is no way that I would claim any compensation from any airline for a delay caused by any technical issue. Yes, I have made a claim in the past, but that was because the airline concerned thought it a good idea to tell an outright lie. And I got my money :-)


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