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 Flight delay compensation information

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Mark
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PostSubject: Flight delay compensation information   Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:28 pm

On 17 February 2005, the European Union implemented Regulation 261/2004 (hereafter known as EU261), designed to give protection, in the form of monetary compensation, to air passengers for delays, cancellations, downgrades and cases of denied boarding throughout the European Union.

So all flights, from all airlines leaving the European Union, Norway and Switzerland are covered, as well as flights to the EU+Switzerland+Norway if provided by European registered airlines.
Should there be a delay or cancellation, Airlines are obliged to inform passengers about their rights at check-in, and to provide more detailed information upon request.
The level of compensation depends on the length of the delay, and the length of the flight.
€250 for all flights of 1 500 kilometres or less, delay of 3 + hours;
€400 for all intra-Community flights of more than
1 500 kilometres, and for all other flights between 1 500
and 3 500 kilometres, 3 + hour delay;
€600 for all flights over 3500 kilometres, 3 + hour delay.
A 50% reduction can be applied for longer flights of a delay between 3 - 4 hours, see the guide in the link below.

Delays that do not qualify for compensation are ones where the airlines can prove that the delay is due to extraordinary circumstances that are beyond their control.
Broadly, this would be things like weather delays (ice, snow, fog), strikes, Airport Traffic Control instructions.

There is a wealth of information on the internet regarding this, but perhaps one of the more 'plainer English' reads can be found on the British Airways frequent flyer forum.
Whilst written from a BA perspective, the information is broad and applies to all.
Should you be a victim of cancellation or delay, I suggest you read this article first to gain a better understanding of your entitlements.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/british-airways-executive-club/1423973-ba-compensation-thread-beta-your-guide-regulation-261-2004-a.html

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Mark
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PostSubject: Re: Flight delay compensation information   Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:29 pm

Following the implementation of the ruling, Airlines were reluctant to pay out, and legal challenges were mounted by both airlines and passengers for clarification.

The test cases are referred to as the Sturgeon case (even though the cases were joined):

Original Sturgeon Judgement

and:

Legal challenge to Sturgeon judgement

This final judgement was delivered on 23 October 2012. Until then, all UK cases were 'stayed' by the courts until the ruling.

There then followed a secondary case, where the time limits for claiming were challenged, the ruling is that the time limit for claims will be the time limit prevailing under national law in each Member state under whose jurisdiction the case is being brought. In the UK this is 6 years from date of delay.
Judgement:
6 year UK time limit confirmed

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Last edited by Mark on Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Flight delay compensation information   Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:29 pm


There are a number of different methods to pursue your claim for delay compensation.

You can hand your claim over to a claims handling company to deal with on your behalf. This will mean that you would forfeit between 25-30% of the value of your claim to the claim handling company.

You can check whether you have access to legal expenses cover via either your household contents insurance policy, or credit card provider or travel insurance. You would then hand over the claim to them but in this instance you would, if successful, retain the whole value of the claim.

You can pursue your claim on your own. This will not be a simple letter-writing exercise as most airlines will vigorously defend all such claims and you can fully expect that claimants will not just have to threaten court action but will have to go to small claims court and have the case heard in front of a District Judge. The airlines will employ legal counsel in such cases so this is not a straightforward route unless you are prepared to put in considerable time, researching and preparing your claim. You will also have to pay the appropriate court fees in advance which are of course repaid to you by the airline in the event that you win the case. Cases will take between 6-9 months from start of launch of claim to a hearing or judgement being handed down so this method requires patience and tenacity in equal measure. Remember too that there are likely to be a large backlog of claims built up whilst the legal stay has been in place which will delay resolution still further.
The following template letter can be adapted to your individual circumstances to send to the airline with your claim for delay compensation. This example was written for a Monarch passenger but it can be adapted for other airlines and circumstances:

Mr Geoff Atkinson
Monarch Airlines Ltd
Prospect House
Prospect Way
London Luton Airport
Luton
LU2 9NU

Dear Mr Atkinson

Delayed Flight Compensation
Flight number: (insert here)
Date: (insert here)
Booking Ref: (insert here)
Passenger names: (insert here)
Amount claimed: 250/400/600 (delete as applicable) euros per passenger

I am writing to you to lodge my claim for delayed flight compensation. Our flight (detailed above) was delayed leaving xxxx and we arrived in xxxx some xx hours after the scheduled arrival time.

I am aware that judgement has been handed down in the current ECJ case (C-629/10) on October 23rd 2012, and I wish to proceed with my claim.

We were informed that the flight was delayed overnight due to 'technical difficulties with the aircraft.' Since technical problems have been ruled by the ECJ to be unlikely to be held as a valid defence of extraordinary circumstances to a compensation claim, then should you be claiming any such defence I should be grateful if such details could be provided to me within 14 days of the date of this letter.

Should you neither settle my claim in full nor provide a full defence to my claim within the above timescale, I reserve the right to issue legal proceedings without giving you further notice in writing.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

xxxxx


Only send this if you are prepared to take matters as far as a court room. Whilst some airlines, notably BA and Easyjet, have started to play ball and pay out from letter claims, many are not, including Monarch, Thomson, and Thomas Cook.

The airline may still be able to prove a valid defence of "extraordinary circumstances" in a number of cases so it is worth researching/checking whether there is a likelihood of this defence holding up "on the balance of probabilities" which is the legal test used in the County Court small claims track under which most claims will be heard.

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Mark
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PostSubject: Re: Flight delay compensation information   Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:30 pm

space reserved for future continuity

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PostSubject: Re: Flight delay compensation information   Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:36 pm

The procedure to make a claim.
It's relatively straightforward.

Firstly you write to the airline concerned, you can use one of the template letters on the CAA site, or the one above.
You can use email or snail mail.
You may well get a response from the airline asking you to fill in one of their claim forms. There's no legal requirement for you to do this, but, unfortunately, if you end up going to court, you will want to show the judge that you have made every effort to settle out of court, so, IMO, it is best to follow this route and fill in their claim form and return it.
Opinions differ on the best method to do this, IMO it's best to send it recorded delivery for the sake of the few extra pence.
Remember to enclose copies of the information they ask for, - keep the originals yourself.
There's no requirement to have boarding cards or flight tickets to make a claim, although some sort of evidence of purchasing the service (package holiday or flight only) is likely to be required.


You'll then need to wait awhile for the airline to respond. This is probably the most frustrating part. Ideally it's best to wait for the airline to respond, as it might well be an agreement to your claim and the payment details, but at the worst it will be a response giving the reason as to why they are denying your claim.
The reason they give, if they deny, is quite possibly the evidence you will require in order to go to court.


Now, you don't HAVE to wait. The CAA (as well as ABTA) recommend that the airlines should respond within 28 days. So after 28 days, you could send them a further letter titled NOTICE BEFORE ACTION. In this letter you give them a brief overview of the circumstances and 'put them on notice' that if they don't respond in 14 days then you will be at liberty to issue court proceedings without giving them further notice.

Residents in England may well find the MCOL (Money Claim On Line) route the easiest. Scotland have a different claim system.

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Mick
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PostSubject: Re: Flight delay compensation information   Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:58 pm

Fantastic information there Mark, well worth a rep mate. clap clap

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PostSubject: Re: Flight delay compensation information   Sat Jun 14, 2014 5:46 am

Following the recent UK Court of Appeal ruling in the Huzar case

Link: http://legalbeagles.info/wp-content/uploads/HuzarJet2.pdf

I have made slight changes to the wording of the initial letter to instigate a claim.

Monarch Airlines Ltd
Prospect House
Prospect Way
London Luton Airport
Luton
LU2 9NU

Dear Sirs,

Delayed Flight Compensation
Flight number: (insert here)
Date: (insert here)
Booking Ref: (insert here)
Passenger names: (insert here)
Amount claimed: 250/400/600 (delete as applicable) euros per passenger

I am writing to you to lodge my claim for delayed flight compensation. Our flight (detailed above) was delayed leaving xxxx and we arrived in xxxx some xx hours after the scheduled arrival time.

I am aware that judgement has been handed down in the current ECJ case (C-629/10) on October 23rd 2012, and I wish to proceed with my claim.

We were informed that the flight was delayed overnight due to 'technical difficulties with the aircraft.' Since technical problems have been ruled by the ECJ (Wallentin Case) to be unlikely to be held as a valid defence of extraordinary circumstances to a compensation claim, and then further endorsed by the UK Court of Appeal (Huzar Case) then should you be claiming any such defence I should be grateful if such details could be provided to me within 14 days of the date of this letter.

Should you neither settle my claim in full nor provide a full defence to my claim within the above timescale, I reserve the right to issue legal proceedings without giving you further notice in writing.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

xxxxx

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PostSubject: Re: Flight delay compensation information   Sun Mar 29, 2015 7:14 pm

There have been some recent Court of Appeal rulings, and the basics have now been collated into an excellent guide by a guy that successfully took Monarch to court over a cracked windscreen causing a 24 hour delay.

Guide Here

This tells you all you'll need to know about initiating a claim, and the steps of how to take an airline to court if the need arises.

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