Swathes of jetsetters whose flights have been affected by shoddy airline administration will learn by November whether they are entitled to flight delay compensation from their flight supplier.
The 2 airlines in question, Jet2 and Thomson have motioned to appeal previously enforced rulings made in the passengerís favour. The above airlineís appeals come in the aftermath of the European Commissionís (EC) enhancing of passengerís civil liberties in 2005, whereby airlines overseen by the EU are responsible for compensatory reimbursements for any technical difficulties or flight delays suffered by passengers.
As such, airlines are having to cope with intensified regulatory practices and an escalating number of complainants seeking compensation. Dat from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) revealed the body was inundated with over 23,000 compensation-related claims in the year leading up to March 2014 ñ over four times as many received in the same month a year earlier.
Jet2 are seeking to reverse the decision of the Court of Appeal which effectively commanded the airline paid compensation to customers delayed due to their aeroplaneís technical deficiencies. Under current legislature, if a passengerís flight departs 3 or more hours after it was due, then said passenger becomes eligible for £480 in restitution. This compensation can only be waived in cases where the variable causing the delay is out of the airlineís hands, for instance mass striking, torrid weather conditions or a security threat.
Despite the Court of Appeal refuting airlineís insistences on technical difficulties out of their control preventing planeís from taking off, airlines are holding out for the highest legal bodyís ñ The Supreme Court ñ verdict before they begin meaningfully addressing passengersí claims.
Similarly, Thomson is launching an appeal against a ruling compelling it to review passengerís compensatory applications resulting from delays longer than 2 years ago. Although many airlines are under the impression they are obligated to review claims from up to 6 years ago, Thomson has cited terms of the Montreal Convention, signed by the ICAO in 1999, which allegedly state claims over two years ago are longer applicable.
If successful, these airlineís appeals will not be welcomed by the exponentially growing number of complainants disillusioned with their perceived maltreatment at the hands of these airlines. However, if they are not held up, retrospective compensation will be at an all-time high within the aeroplane industry. How this will effect travel insurance is yet to be seen, with a complete overhaul of the system not so outrageous to think.
The bigger picture aside, if Jet2 and Thomsonsí appeals are successful, complainants will be forced to endure another 6 months before filing another claim. However, if their appeals are thrown out by the Supreme Court, said airlines will have to pay every cent.
Where these airlines will get the money to provide full compensation for every claimant could prove problematic, with ticket price hikes and other stealth charges potential aspects which could increase in cost, somewhat paradoxically, in aid of this. There exists clamour for airlines to be held more accountable for administrative failures, with the threat of hefty regulatory fines hanging over their heads coercing them into operating at greater levels of efficiency.
The Supreme Court announced last week that three justices will deliver their verdict by November on whether the airlineís appeals are worthy of an official hearing.