The CAA has incorrectly advised up to 10,000 consumers they cannot claim under EU Regulation 261 because their delay was caused by an ‘extraordinary circumstance’ as set out in the NEB Guidance List of Extraordinary Circumstances.
The NEB list is factually incorrect and holds no legal weight, meaning thousands of customers have been misled as to their right to compensation.
Bott and Co, a specialist flight delay law firm, made a Freedom of Information request to the CAA which revealed the large numbers affected by the regulator’s mix up.
Consumer organisations welcomed the publication of the NEB Guidance list in July 2013, claiming it brought clarity to when consumers can and cannot claim flight delay compensation under EU 261.
Bott and Co lodged a complaint with the European Ombudsman last year because of the list’s legal inaccuracies. The CAA itself admitted the list was wrong following the Huzar V Jet2.com case at the Court of Appeal in May 2014.
If you’ve been told by the CAA in the past that you don’t have a valid flight claim, I’d recommend using our free online flight delay claim calculator to check what you’ve been told is correct.
EU Regulation 261 entitles passengers to compensation of up to €600 if they experience a long flight delay or cancellation. The regulation applies to flights departing from an EU airport and flights landing in an EU airport on an EU carrier.
Airlines do not have to pay compensation if the delay is due to an extraordinary circumstance such as terrorism, sabotage or strikes.
Aircraft technical problems are not considered an extraordinary circumstance, despite the NEB guidelines suggesting they are.
David Bott, Senior Partner at Bott and Co, said: “The NEB guidelines have caused great confusion for consumers and given airlines yet another excuse to get out of paying what is rightfully due to delayed passengers. We’ve seen the list quoted by the airlines in their defence papers despite the fact it has no legal grounding whatsoever.
“If you’ve been told by the CAA in the past that you don’t have a valid flight claim, I’d recommend using our free online flight checker to check what you’ve been told is correct.”
Notes to Editors
Flight Delay Compensation:
EU Regulation 261 entitles passengers to up to €600 per person for long delays (+3hrs), flight cancellations, or denied boarding. The regulation applies to flights leaving an EU airport or landing at an EU airport on an EU carrier.
About Bott and Company
Bott and Company is a specialist consumer rights law firm founded in 2001 by David Bott, Paul Hinchliffe and Gary Froggatt and was one of the first firms to be granted Alternative Business Structure (ABS) status. Based in Wilmslow, Cheshire, the business had a turnover of £11.8m in 2012/13.
The Company believes in delivering a great value and high quality legal service to its customers and is committed to maintaining ethical conduct at all times.
- Manchester Legal Awards (Small Law Firm of the Year 2014)
- Modern Law Awards (Shortlisted in five categories in 2013)
- Law Society Excellence Awards (Excellence in Business Development & Innovation 2013 and shortlisted for Junior Lawyer of the Year and
- Excellence in Marketing & Communications)
- Investors in People
- Lexcel Practice Management Accreditation (from the Law Society)
- iLex Employer of the Year (2010)