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28 Apr, 2014

Delayed flights may cost airlines billions after test case rulings | The Observer

Airline passengers could be entitled to billions of pounds’ worth of compensation, depending on the outcome of two flight delay cases at the court of appeal next month.

Rules state that passengers who reach their destination more than three hours late can claim up to €600 (£494) plus expenses, per person, if the delay is within the airline’s control. However thousands of passengers have struggled to get the cash they are entitled to, with airlines often refusing to pay out even when the regulator rules against them. While most customers give up at this point, some have gone to court.

James Dawson submitted a claim for compensation in December 2012 for a delay on his Gatwick flight to the Dominican Republic just under six years earlier. A Cambridge county court judge ruled in his favour and he and his wife were awarded £975 in compensation, plus interest. However, the airline, Thomson, is hoping to overturn this on appeal. It argues that it has the right to refuse payouts for claims not brought to court within two years of the delay under the Montreal convention – which is typically used to cover passengers in cases of lost baggage or harm suffered during a flight rather than delays.

Read the rest: Delayed flights may cost airlines billions after test case rulings | Business | The Observer.