Simon Calder: Today's ruling has airline bosses fuming
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Thursday 19 June 2014
“As you have a 3-hour plus delayed flight in the last 6 years. New EU regs say your entitled to £499.76 in cash. Reply DELAY to get it sent out now.”
So reads one of the texts, as inaccurate as it is illiterate, being sprayed out randomly in the wake of two Appeal Court judgments against airlines. Expect more such no-win-no-fee messages as recognition spreads of the airlines’ liabilities.
Airline bosses are understandably furious at the retrospective recompense they are now obliged to pay for past delays. The EC261 rules on passenger compensation were never drafted to include such payouts, but case law means long waits are regarded as equivalent to cancellations.
Thomson, the loser of today’s appeal, is a special case. The airline, part of the UK’s biggest holiday firm, took a singularly aggressive approach to retrospective claims. It told applicants: “The Supreme Court in the UK has said that all claims to do with ‘international carriage by air’ need to be brought within two years. We therefore can't consider claims for flights that were delayed more than two years ago.”
The judge at Cambridge County Court described Thomson’s argument as “specious and illogical”, and the Law Lords have now backed his verdict. Future passengers with Thomson can expect to foot a formidable bill for lawyers’ fees as well as compensation for previously delayed travellers.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 I was raped by another man. And now the Government wants to take away the one thing that saved my life
- 2 Preston fan who appeared to snatch Jermaine Beckford's shirt from eight-year-old boy identified and says: 'the truth will come out'
- 3 Priest warns pupils the 'Charlie Charlie Challenge' is 'demonic activity'
- 4 Iran launches anti-Isis cartoon competition 'to expose true nature of Islamic State'
- 5 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
Does Ryanair charge for allocated seating?
Inside Travel: Greece 2015 Q&A - should we cancel our Greek holiday? Are our flights safe? And what will we be spending there?
Travel in London expected to grind to halt in taxi driver slowdown against Uber
The most powerful passports in the world
The 10 Best lightweight luggage
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
£32K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Dining Room Head Chef to work for one of ...
£27K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Che...
£24K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Events Coordinator ...
Salary 42,000: Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: The CEO is responsible ...