JUNE 16TH, 2014

CAA clarifies advice to air passengers following Jet2 v Huzar Court of Appeal ruling

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is clarifying its advice to passengers on their rights to compensation for delayed and cancelled flights, following the ruling in the Jet2 v Huzar case at the Court of Appeal on Wednesday 11 June.

The Court of Appeal ruled that ordinary technical problems that cause flight disruption, such as component failure and general wear and tear, should not be considered “extraordinary circumstances”. This means that airlines can only cite technical faults as a reason for not paying compensation if the fault was originally caused by an event that was “out of the ordinary”. So technical faults such as a part on the aircraft failing before departure will generally not be considered extraordinary circumstances.

The effect of the judgement is:
• New claims should be assessed by airlines in the light of the judgement.
• Claims previously put to an airline can be reconsidered in the light of the judgement, if the passenger wishes, unless the passenger agreed a settlement with the airline.
• Claims that have already been decided by a court cannot be taken back to court unless they are within the time limit for an appeal.

There may also be further developments on the issue, with Jet2 confirming it intends to seek permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. Airlines might delay processing claims until the outcome is known. Passengers therefore have a choice: either to ask and wait for their airline to reconsider their claim in the light of the judgement, or to take their claim to court.

The CAA apologises that our earlier advice was not clear. We will contact passengers who have previously sought our help to provide advice on the matter. The CAA will also provide guidance on the judgment to airlines.