The solicitor who represented the claimant in a Court of Appeal case which this week opened the way to thousands of claims against airlines for delayed flights today accused the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of misrepresenting its implications.
David Bott, senior partner of north-west firm Bott & Co, said the air transport regulator was 'wrong' to issue a statement that the court's decision in Huzar v Jet2.com did not affect compensation claims that had already been rejected.
'This is not how common law works,' said Bott (pictured). 'It applies to everything subject to the Limitation Act which in England and Wales is six years for this type of claim.'
On Wednesday this week the Court of Appeal ruled that airlines could not claim normal technical problems as 'extraordinary circumstances' to escape paying compensation for flight delays. The case was brought by a passenger, Ron Huzar, who suffered a 27-hour delay on a Jet2 flight from Malaga to Manchester in 2011.
The airline is to appeal to the Supreme Court.
The CAA said that, if the decision stands, it will bring a large increase in the number of passengers entitled to compensation for delayed and cancelled flights. It advised airlines to base any decisions on new compensation claims on the court’s decision.
It added however that: 'The ruling does not affect claims that airlines rejected prior to Wednesday 11 June, so it is unlikely that airlines will revisit previously rejected claims.'
Bott commented: 'We would happily take on anyone’s claim that has been previously rejected by the airline or the CAA on grounds of a technical problem. If the CAA won’t back the consumer then Bott & Co are more than happy to do so.'