A Judge has today ruled at Liverpool County Court that infant passengers are entitled to flight delay compensation in a case that Bott and Co estimate could be worth £10million a year to consumers
The case relates to a flight from Lanzarote to Birmingham which was delayed for more than nine hours on 29th December 2015. Mr Varey instructed Bott and Co to help recover flight delay compensation for him and his 6 month old daughter who travelled sat on his knee.
The airline agreed to pay flight delay compensation to Mr Varey, but argued that his daughter was not entitled to flight delay compensation under EU Regulation 261.
Several airlines have been trying to get out of paying the infant passenger compensation for delayed flights.
This is another significant judgment that will assist UK passengers in claiming the compensation to which they are entitled.
Coby Benson, flight delay solicitor at Bott and Co, the firm renowned for clarifying this area of law for consumers in the UK, said: “We have always considered this to be a straightforward argument and we welcome this judgment from the court.
“The history of this regulation has been legal challenge after legal challenge from the airline industry and we are pleased the court has provided another pro-passenger decision.”
The airline argued that the infant was not a passenger covered by the regulation as she did not have a confirmed reservation, did not have a seat and that she was travelling free of charge, despite the fact a £20 administration fee was paid. They also claimed that the passenger did not suffer trouble and inconvenience because of her young age.
“This is another significant judgment that will assist UK passengers in claiming the compensation to which they are entitled.”
In handing down the judgment, His Honour Judge Pearce said: “Many passengers in many situations (for example, on buses and trains) travel without having a seat. They are nonetheless passengers for that, and I can see no justification for restricting the meaning of the word in this one situation to exclude those without their own seat.”
This is an important decision and Bott and Co hope that judges will now use it to intervene earlier in arguments of this nature so that infant passengers get their compensation at the same time as adult passengers going forward.
The airline has requested leave to appeal against the decision.
Download the Judgment in full