13 July, 2014

Virgin Pay £47,600 Compensation For One Delayed Flight

Virgin Atlantic has had to fork out £47,600 compensation to 101 passengers who had been delayed on one of their flights from the US in 2012.  The flight had been delayed by around 26 hours and the airline was forced to make the payout following last month’s Huzar ruling at the Court of Appeal, which stated that airlines cannot reject claims for delays caused by technical defects.

The holidaymakers were delayed when flight VS16 - travelling from Orlando to Gatwick in October 2012 - developed a fault. The passengers then contacted specialist flight delay law firm Bott & Co in November 2013, which issued group proceedings.  The case was initially delayed pending the outcome of the Huzar v Jet2.com case in which passenger Ron Huzar took the airline to court to claim compensation for a delayed flight from Manchester to Malaga in 2011.  Huzar's flight was delayed by 27 hours because of a wiring defect.
Jet2 had claimed that, under EU laws, this defect constituted 'extraordinary circumstances' that allows them to deny claims. However, Court of Appeal judges ruled that such technical faults are 'inherent in the running of an airline' and as such cannot be considered extraordinary.
Regarding the Virgin payout, Kevin Clarke, aviation lawyer at Bott & Co, said: “We are delighted to have been able to reach a settlement for these passengers. Since winning the case for our client Mr Huzar, we have seen a general trend towards airlines settling claims that have been on hold for months. This is great news for consumers and we hope this signals the dawn of a new era of a much easier and smoother process for claiming flight delay compensation.’
A Virgin Atlantic spokesman said: “As a gesture of goodwill Virgin Atlantic has settled some existing court cases that were previously stayed pending the Court of Appeal decision in Huzar.
“Going forward, the lasting impact of the Huzar decision on new cases remains uncertain and we are continuing to monitor developments in this area closely.”