EUDELAY Air Passenger Compensation Conference

EUDELAY is proud to announce that a first ever conference focused on air passenger rights related to compensation for flight delays and cancellations has been organised. Our Air Passenger Compensation Conference will take place in London on 22 May 2015.

We are inviting airlines, claim companies and civil aviation authorities to discuss the current state of passenger rights and enforcement of EC Regulation 261/2004. We hope to understand why airlines adopt different approaches to assessing, fighting and paying compensation claims. Be assured that media coverage of this event will enhance knowledge of the current air passenger rights situation.

We would like to invite a limited number of members of the public to attend the event. Please message us to register your interest. We will be very happy to see our clients and people concerned with the state of European laws protecting air passengers at the conference.

Written on by Jakub Kotan

EUDELAY Air Passenger Compensation Conference

2015 air industry predictions

Here are some predictions of what fliers and holiday makers can expect in the second half of  2015

Some industry experts predict that air fares will level off in 2015 throughout EU . The International Air Transport Association predicts that the average air fare should fall by 5%  in 2015. This will be mainly due to a steep drop in the price of jet fuel, which is down almost 50% from 2014. Airlines may be more careful of raising air fares at a time when their high profits are attracting  some unwanted attention from many political parties . Another factor, especially in Europe, is the rise of low-cost carriers, which forces the already established carriers to do the same in order to compete. On the other hand , no one is expecting fees to fall—for charges to seat allocation, flight ticket changes, and checked bags since they are continuing to grow.

Premium-class services are going to be the sector where airlines will be investing  their money in 2015. Some International airlines are already setting the bar very high with suites the size of a small apartment—and where the price is more than the cost of a brand new car. Even some domestic  airlines are introducing better entertainment systems and expanding their airport lounges making  our air travel more entertaining and delays more bearable.

A falling Euro means cheaper holidays for us in UK. Our strong currency and resorts vying for custom means prices slashed by up to 20%. There will huge savings on trips within Europe, especially the Czech Republic, Portugal, Spain and Greece. Travellers should see their money stretch further across EU countries thanks to a fall in value of the Euro.

And don't forget, whether your flew last week, last summer or up to nine years ago, EU flight regulation allows you to claim up to 600 Euro per passenger if your flight was delayed or cancelled. Visit our website for more information. www.eudelay.co.uk

Written on by Jakub Kotan

2015 air industry predictions

Jet2.com and Ryanair Court Cases

While most of the airlines are now obliging by the law as it stands since the ruling on the case of Huzar -v- Jet2, Jet2 themselves continue to attempt to avoid paying compensation outside of court, and delay claims that are in court.

You would expect that once the Supreme Court in the UK had ruled against a company's attempts to appeal, that company would be forced to face the music in other cases of the same nature. This is not the case, and we'll endeavour to explain why below:

When Jet2 petitioned to the Supreme Court back in June regarding the High Court's decision in the case of Huzar -v- Jet2, they also mentioned a case that was to be heard in the European Court of Justice (that of Van Der Lans -v- KLM) and asked the Supreme Court to refer their own case to the ECJ as part of the Van Der Lans case as they were very similar in nature.

The Supreme Court refused on the grounds that they believed they were capable of making the decision themselves, and rejected Jet2's appeal of the High Court's decision in the Huzar case.

Whilst all the other UK airlines started paying compensation in line with the Huzar ruling, Jet2 continued to refuse. They have applied for further stays to all of the cases against them in court pending the Van Der Lans ruling by the ECJ. Unfortunately some of the smaller Small Claims courts, being unfamiliar with the intricacies of the Huzar case, have granted those requests for further stays.

 

The reason this works is that, if the court decides to grant the application for a stay, the only way to argue our case that it should not be stayed is to pay (usually around £300) to have a further hearing to decide if the case should be stayed or not. The airline are obviously aware of this, which is why they are using this tactic - we would likely be spending more money than the cases are worth just to win the right to have our cases actually heard.

We have recently done this. We fought Jet2's application for a stay in one of our cases in the hope that paying the extra money set a precedent. By winning that application hearing, we could then show all the courts considering further stay applications from Jet2 that there was no reason to agree to their demands.

We did in fact win that application, so that case would then be set to go to a hearing. We were also hoping to see further results from this move.

However, we heard last week that Jet2 have appealed the judge's decision to deny their right to have the case stayed. From this we can understand that their tactic is not simply about resisting a law they do not see as valid, but simply to fight every single decision that is made against them, presumably in the hope that those bringing actions against them will tire of doing so. They obviously feel that the legal fees will cost them less than the compensation they would have to pay out to their passengers.

The Van Der Lans decision is due in the first half of 2015 and it looks likely to be sometime around April/May. We're expecting it to go in favour of the passengers, as the ECJ will consider the Huzar ruling when making their decision. Most of the Civil Aviation Authorities have also said they consider the UK High Court's original ruling on the Huzar case was fair.

So unfortunately nothing happening right now on those cases against Jet2, and also those that have been brought against Ryanair, who are relying on the same ECJ decision. But we continue to fight on behalf of our clients against those airlines and will not cease to do so until they back down.

Written on by Jakub Kotan

Jet2.com and Ryanair Court Cases

Compensation for a Delayed Flight - Can I Win Against an Airline?

Our beloved European Union regulates and directs every other step in our life journey.

Each reader may add negative or positive connotation to Brussels' reign depending on personal views on EC unification, but nevertheless, some of this regulating actually carries a great deal of European goodness.

In the aviation industry, EU law gives every passenger the right to compensation of up to€600 if his or her flight was delayed by 3 or more hours, cancelled or if the traveller was denied boarding.

Before you go clamouring to write a host of letters to whichever poor airlines you've suffered at the hands of, there is one proviso - it has to have been the airline's fault.

So situations like bad weather, Icelandic volcanoes or industrial strikes that were the root cause of flight disruptions do not count.

The good news is that everything else that the airline can be blamed for shall result in money in those lucky passengers' accounts.

So what do I do to get my money?

If you suffer a delay, the first and most important thing is to keep all travel documents - like booking confirmations or boarding passes. You would then write to the airline requesting monetary compensation under the EC Regulation 261/2004.

And then?

Hope for the best!

A small fraction of passengers may be lucky enough to receive a cheque from the offending airline with a letter of apology.

Another small fraction might receive nothing but silence.

Most of us, however, would be destined to receive a much longer and detailed letter - but no amount of shaking of the envelope will reveal a cheque.

In this tragic missive, the beleaguered airline explains in sweeping terms quite how difficult it is to run aircrafts on schedule and that the reasons for flight disruptions are so complex our minds would not be able to comprehend them.

These long-winded letters normally end with words like "In light of this investigation and these circumstances, we are sorry to have to conclude that no compensation is payable on this occasion. However, we hope that you will remain loyal to our airline and will be happy to welcome you on board in the near future".

For many, this is where the claim journey may end. However, some determined passengers, aided with the knowledge of the internet, will take matters further and make a complaint against the airlines' decisions with any of the 28 relevant EU Civil Aviation Authorities.

Which one they complain to is dependent on the country of the departure airport.

A few months' wait would reward the passenger with a letter of denouement - that is, if the civil aviation authority has actually bothered with a reply.

For the sake of the argument, let's assume the Civil Aviation Authority replies, and agrees that compensation is due. Going back to the airline expecting a change in its initial negative stance has proven to be the common sticking point for most passengers.

So what now?

Court proceedings are the last hope. See you in court!

When one is really determined, all that needs to be done is a proper drafting and filing of claim particulars, paying the court fee, filling in a few more documents the courts require, paying the hearing fee - and there we go!

Our poor passenger, by this point at their wit's end, may then end up facing the airline's barrister and solicitor in front of a judge. No matter whether one is right or wrong in her or his claim, it is often just too much of an army to overcome.

In this way, the justice as designed to protect air passengers' rights gets a proper lashing.

Battling an airline normally results in dozens of hours spent on writing letters and filling in forms, then waiting for the court generosity in getting legal fees back - and perhaps, ultimately, some compensation too.

The area of air passenger rights is complex and ambiguous enough that lawyers spend hours arguing about it. For that reason, being a legal maverick could prove costly and utterly frustrating.

There are some claim companies and solicitors on the market offering work on a 'no win, no fee' basis, and, whilst the airlines are choosing to fight many claims in this manner despite the EC Regulation's edicts, can provide proper guidance from the start in making the claiming process a lot easier.

At a time when the airlines are choosing to fight these kinds of claims more and more, often battling them as far as the initial stages of court, letting the professionals fight compensation claims from the start for a fee payable only when the money is recovered somehow appears to be the proposition that makes the most sense.

Written on by Jakub Kotan

Compensation for a Delayed Flight - Can I Win Against an Airline?

Ageing aircrafts cause delays and cancellations

EUDELAY inernal statistics clearly indicate that ageing aircraft impact on reliability. Airframes 15 years and older are still commonly used in day-to-day passenger operations over EU airspace. Reliability of such airplanes is significantly lower than of newer models. Dispatch reliability (number of departures without technical problems in %) of ageing airplanes is getting below 97% mark while 99,7% of aircrafts of the age of 5 years and younger are perform to their schedules (ACARS and IATA statistic). 

Hundreds of thousands passengers getting stranded every year because of technical difficulties on airplanes.

Again is all about money. Leasing fee for older model of Boeing 737 is now in region of 50,000 – 100,000$ a month compare to new model Boeing 737NG costing 280,000-370,000$ a month. Some airlines trying to keep their aircraft fleet as young as possible, such as Ryanair (4,7 years) and on other hand Monarch (13,5 years) or Thomas Cook (14,4 years) keeping their fleet for longer or acquiring used planes.

New European legislation concerning ageing aircraft structures is now under development and soon will be in force. It should put  more detailed rules for operators of older airframes. It should also improve technical related flight delays and cancellations and improve airlines' customer service.   

Written on by Jan Kotan

Ageing aircrafts cause delays and cancellations