Following the Supreme Court’s decision on Friday in the Dawson and Huzar cases, we’ve been getting a lot of questions from our clients about what this means for their claims. Below we look at some of the most frequent questions we’ve noticed people asking over the past few days.
Will I get paid in time for Christmas? How long until the airlines pay up?
We know everyone could do with a few extra pounds in their purses at this time of year, which is why we’re doing all we can to settle our clients’ claims as quickly as possible.
At the moment we can’t give you the exact date of when you will be paid because a lot will depend on the attitude of the airlines. Just so you have a better idea of what is happening with your claim, here is what we’ve done for Bott and Co clients since Friday’s announcement…
We’ve already written to the airlines, telling them they have seven days to acknowledge the judgments. If they don’t, we will contact the courts asking them to order the airlines to pay out for existing claims.
The judgments mean the airlines should pay without any further disagreements but we cannot guarantee that they will. What it does mean is that if we do still have to go before the court, the judge should rule in our favour.
The logical step would be for the airlines to acknowledge the law and settle claims now but it’s very much a case of “watch this space” at the moment.
Does the ruling apply to me if I’m from Scotland or Northern Ireland?
Flight compensation law EU261 is all about the details of the flight and not about where you yourself live.
So, if your flight took off/landed in England/Wales these rulings will apply to you regardless of where you live. Likewise if your flight was with an English/Welsh airline these rulings will apply to you – even if you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland.
If either of these applies to your flight then proceedings can be started in the English legal system, where we can rely on these judgments to win.
For other flights, whilst Scottish and Irish courts do not have to follow the judgments, they are certainly powerful in those jurisdictions. The Huzar and Dawson decisions would be highly, highly persuasive arguments to judges in Scotland and Ireland.
What happens if the airlines don’t pay?
We’ve already written to the airlines, telling them they have seven days to acknowledge the judgments.
If the airlines don’t pay out our clients’ claims, we will issue court proceedings against them. The court should then find in our favour based on the recent Huzar and Dawson judgments.
For those of you claiming yourself, remember that these judgments mean the airlines should pay but doesn’t guarantee that they will. If you are having difficulty securing payment, then court proceedings are your only option. You can issue proceedings yourself using the MCOL online service, in paper form using an N1 claim form, or by instructing a no-win no-fee solicitor like Bott and Co to act on your behalf.
I’ve heard people say compensation claims will put up ticket prices – is this true?
When you hear media reports about airlines now owing billions of pounds in compensation, it’s easy to think consumers will end up paying the price. However, it’s estimated around just 1% of all flights are eligible for flight delay compensation under EU261. When considered in the wider context of the aviation industry, the amount of flight compensation due to consumers is marginal.
In fact, an independent European Commission survey looked at the effects of flight delay regulation on the whole of Europe. It found that if everybody who could claim did (and remember, less than 10% of people do!) then it would only result in an extra €3 on the price of a ticket.
You might be interested to know that some airlines have actually been adding an ‘EU261 levy’ (tucked away in the small print) to ticket prices over the past few years anyway. These same airlines are then refusing to pay out on claims!