Ryanair may have to pay out £610m in flight delay compensation claims

The result of test case opens the door to 2.66 million Ryanair passengers to make flight delay compensation claims going back up to six years.

Ryanair B737-800
Ryanair B737-800 (c) Adrian Pingstone

A senior judge at Manchester County Court today ruled in favour of consumers in the flight delay test case Goel and Trivedi v Ryanair – a decision which stands to benefit millions of passengers.

The ruling against Ryanair effectively tells the airline that they cannot impose a two-year limit on compensation claims even if its states so in a clause in their small print.

Two passengers had applied for compensation for a flight that was delayed five year eight months before the claim was made.

Ryanair argued that by accepting the airline’s Terms and Conditions when passengers buy a ticket, they agree that they only have two years to make a claim. Yet in 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that passengers in England and Wales have six years to take a flight delay claim to court.

The result of test case, Goel and Triveldi v Ryanair court case opens the door to 2.66 million Ryanair passengers to make claims going back up to six years and this could translate into payouts totalling more than £600m to delayed passengers.

Bott & Co Flight Delay Lawyer Kevin Clarke, who acted on behalf of Goel & Trivedi said:

[quote_box_center]We’re delighted that the court has dismissed yet another argument put forward by the airlines to restrict passenger rights.

The last 12 months have seen a series of landmark judgments obtained by Bott & Co on behalf of millions of passengers and this is as important as any of those that precede it.

We fully expect the airlines to continue to fight these cases but we are prepared to hold them to account in each and every instance where the law says compensation is payable, and with the courts continuing to find on behalf of consumers we’ve real cause to be optimistic that passengers will receive the compensation they are entitled to.[/quote_box_center]

His Honour Judge Platts upheld Article 15 saying of the airline’s two year Terms and Conditions argument:

[quote_box_center]On any view that must amount to a restriction or limit on the airline’s obligation to pay and thus fall foul of Article 15.1[/quote_box_center]

As Goel and Trivedi v Ryanair is a test case, it is likely that all other flight compensation claims in England and Wales across will now follow the decision.

Flight delay Regulation EC 261/2004 entitles passengers to claim flight compensation of up to €600/£440 per person for delays of three hours or more, as long as the delay was not caused by ‘extraordinary circumstances’.

Although no other airlines are presently using the two-year limitation argument, most do have a similar clause in their Terms and Conditions stating that passengers only have two years to issue court proceedings.

In the past, the CAA issued a penalty against Jet2 and Wizz Air for applying a two year time limit on claims earlier this year, but did not do the same for Ryanair at that time.


Have you ever claimed compensation for a delayed flight? Leave a comment


Image credit: wikimedia/Adrian Pingstone

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