Bott and Co Solicitors are celebrating the second birthday of their flight delay compensation service this month. Since launching in 2013, the firm has recovered over £4.2million for passengers who have waited a combined total of 1 year 7 months for delayed planes.
- UK’s leading flight delay compensation solicitors celebrate 2nd birthday
- Department founded after solicitor suffered 7 hour delay on flight home from holiday
- Over £4.2million in compensation for more than 11,000 passengers recovered since 2013
- Bott and Co clients lost combined total of 1 year & 7 months waiting to board delayed flights
- Already settled claims with 70 airlines and currently has 20,000 ‘live’ passenger claims
More than 37,000 delayed passengers have approached Bott and Co Solicitors seeking advice about flight delay compensation since the department took off in February 2013. To date more than 11,000 people have used the law firm to recover flight delay compensation from 70 airlines, with an additional 20,000 ‘live’ claims still in the system.
It’s been an eventful two years for the consumer law firm, who won two landmark flight delay cases at the Court of Appeal in July 2014. These cases created binding case law that opened up billions of pounds in flight delay compensation for the estimated 221million passengers who use UK airports each year.
The ruling in Dawson V Thomson Airways Ltd means that passengers in England and Wales can now claim for delays as far back as six years. The second landmark ruling – Huzar V Jet2.com – means that airlines can no longer use ‘technical problems’ as an excuse to get out of paying up flight compensation due under EU261/2004. [See Notes to Editor]
According to the European Flight Delay Compensation Regulation (261/2004), passengers who have suffered a delay of three hours or more can claim compensation up to €600 each, depending on the length of the delay and the distance of their flight. It is estimated around 3.27million passengers could be entitled to compensation in the UK each year under the regulation.
Bott and Co Solicitors, who also specialise in personal injury and holiday sickness claims, launched the flight delay department after one of their solicitors, Coby Benson, suffered a seven hour delay on his way home from Israel. It took him two court cases and a “ridiculous” twelve months for him to receive the compensation he was owed.
Flight Delay Lawyer Coby Benson said: “Being a solicitor, I thought I would have no problem in claiming the flight compensation that the law said I was entitled to. I couldn’t have been more wrong! The way the airline handled my claim and the complexities of the law led me to wonder how a consumer would ever be able to deal with a situation like this without expert legal advice.
“It occurred to me that hundreds of thousands of people were also entitled to flight delay compensation, but either didn’t realise it or didn’t have the necessary legal skills to pursue it.”
To be able to efficiently handle the influx of flight delay compensation claims since 2013, Bott and Co invested heavily in streamlined IT systems, allowing a small team of legal experts to deal with tens of thousands of cases at any one time.
Bott and Co also invested in their free flight claims checker, enabling consumers to find out if they can make a claim in seconds; a service that is accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
In the two years since the Flight Delay Compensation Team was ‘born’, the solicitors say that they have seen airlines using various techniques to slow down the flight delay compensation process, including choosing to look at each case on an individual basis, despite a number of those cases being for exactly the same flight.
Fight Delay Compensation Lawyer Coby Benson said: “Many people that come to Bott and Co have been told by an airline that they’re not entitled to compensation, only to find out from us that they actually are. It’s just one of the ways that airlines try to avoid paying out. We’ve also seen a dramatic decrease in the ‘technical problem’ argument since it was ruled that that was no longer a valid excuse in the Huzar V Jet2.com case.
“But over the last two years we’ve seen victory after victory, and are looking forward to another year of fighting for consumer rights, no matter what we come up against on the way. We’ve settled thousands of cases in 2015 already, and we’re anticipating a lot more as people become more aware of their rights as passengers.”
To celebrate their second birthday the Flight Delay Compensation Team has launched a Facebook competition with a prize of £1,000 in holiday vouchers. All entrants have to do to be in with a chance of winning is enter the competition, saying who they would take with them on their dream holiday.
Notes to Editors
Flight delay Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 establishes common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding, flight cancellations, or long flight delays. Passengers are entitled to up to €600 per passenger on qualifying flights. The regulation covers flights departing an EU state, or landing in an EU state on board an EU airline.
Bott and Co
Bott and Co is a specialist consumer rights law firm founded in 2001 by David Bott, Paul Hinchliffe and Gary Froggatt. It was one of the first firms to be granted Alternative Business Structure (ABS) status. Based in Wilmslow, Cheshire, the business had a turnover of £8.35m in 2013/14.
- 2014 The Lawyer Management Awards – Best Technology Project.
- 2014 Modern Law Awards – Client care Initiative of the year.
- 2014 Modern Law Awards – Marketing campaign of the year.
- 2014 Manchester Legal Awards – Small firm of the year.
- 2014 Law Society Excellence Awards – Excellence in Client Services (highly commended)
- 2014 Law Society Excellence Awards – Excellence in Marketing & Communications (finalist)
- 2013 Law Society Excellence Awards 2013 (Excellence in Business Development & Innovation and shortlisted for Junior Lawyer of the Year and Excellence in Marketing & Communications)
- Investors in People
- Lexcel Practice Management Accreditation (from the Law Society)
- CiLex Employer of the Year (2010)