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Supreme Court keeps door open for “millions” of delayed flight claims

Cancelled flights [1]

Thomson’s application “did not raise arguable point of law”

The Supreme Court has kept the door open to what claimants’ lawyers have predicted will be “millions” of delayed flight compensation claims by rejecting permission to appeal applications from airlines Jet2.com and Thomson.

Cheshire firm Bott & Co, which has pioneered a compensation service for passengers hit by delayed flights, said after the first of its two Court of Appeal victories this summer that it had put more than 2,000 similar cases on hold. [2]

In the Thomson Airways case [3], appeal judges ruled that the normal limitation period of six years applies to passengers wanting to bring compensation claims for delayed flights. The airline argued that the Montreal Convention should apply, which has a limitation period of only two years.

Giving reasons for rejecting Thomson’s application for permission to appeal this morning, the Supreme Court said the application “does not raise an arguable point of law”.

In the Jet2.com case, the Court of Appeal ruled that Ronald Huzar had suffered “no little inconvenience” when his flight from Malaga to Manchester was delayed by 27 hours.

Mr Huzar sought compensation under regulation (EC) No.261/2004. However, low-cost airline Jet2.com argued that the delay was the result of “extraordinary circumstances”, an exception under the regulation to the rule that compensation was payable.

The Supreme Court decided that permission to appeal should be refused “because the application does not raise a point of law of general public importance and, in relation to the point of European Union law said to be raised by or in response to the application, it is not necessary to request the Court of Justice to give any ruling, because the Court’s existing jurisprudence already provides sufficient answer.”

The Supreme Court decisions were made by a panel of three justices following a review of written submissions.