Plane Delay Compensation- RyanAir
Plane delay compensation Ryanair
Ryanair, the no-frills budget airline, recently failed in a bid to keep a County Court judgment secret from the public and its own customers. Their attempt to keep the Court’s decision a secret was branded as “unconstitutional” by the Claimant’s solicitors.
DELAYS AND COMPENSATION
The Claimant was delayed for 3 hours 14 minutes on his flight from Gatwick to Liverpool, due to a technical problem with the aircraft.
He made a claim against Ryanair for €250 plane delay compensation, in accordance with EU Regulations. Ryanair defended his claim with a “son-of-Dawson” Defence, arguing that their T&Cs impose a strict 2 year time limit for bringing court proceedings against Ryanair.
The Claimant argued that he should be entitled to a 6 year time limit in accordance with the normal rules for bringing a case to Court. The Court of Appeal in a recent victory for another passenger, who flew from Gatwick to the Dominican Republic with Thomson Airways, held the Montreal Convention did not impose a 2 year time limit. Ryanair were trying to find a way around the Judgment in the Dawson-v-Thomson case.
The Claimant in this matter won his argument but in a bid to keep their defeat secret, Ryanair sought to have the Court decision made “confidential” and kept out ofthe public record, thereby circumventing nearly 800 years of legal principle and potentially denying Ryanair passengers knowledge of their legal rights. As a result, passengers affected by plane delays but who might have delayed bringing proceedings are now better placed to take on large airlines despite Ryanair’s attempts to safeguard their interests above consumer rights.
The Judge based his decision on a technical point regarding the exact wording of Ryanair’s online terms and conditions. He said he would have allowed the Defence if Ryanair had been using their current terms and conditions when the Claimant originally booked his flight.
Claimants should be aware that other major Airlines are running similar “son-of-Dawson” time limit Defences, sometimes with more tightly worded small print. Further Court cases and appeals should be expected in the future to clarify the validity of this new 2 year time limit argument.
DELAY CAN STOP YOU FROM CLAIMING FOR PLANE DELAY COMPENSATION
In the meantime passengers should not delay starting Court proceedings beyond 2 years if they wish to avoid the danger of either the Supreme Court overturning the decision in Thomson-v-Dawson, or certain Airlines winning on the new contract time-limit argument.