Posted on 19th November 2014

Passengers who have had their flights delayed are on cloud nine after hearing they could be entitled to hundreds of pounds in compensation.

A landmark ruling by the Supreme Court said airlines will no longer be able to claim that delays due to technical faults are justified as ‘extraordinary circumstances’.

Judges said that technical faults on an aircraft should be foreseen by an airline, and are therefore avoidable, not extraordinary.

A second ruling paved the way for claims going back six years.

The two judgements were handed down following challenges made by airlines Thomson and Jet2 against previous court decisions. In the Jet2 case a passenger successfully challenged the airline’s view that a 27-hour delay to a flight amounted to an ‘extraordinary circumstance’ while in the Thomson Airways case, which goes back to 2006, the court confirmed that passengers have six years in which to bring a claim for flight delay compensation.

Naomi Owen, a commercial litigation barrister at No5 Chambers said: “Both cases hold significant implications for passengers and carriers alike.

“It is thought that refusing Thomson and Jet2 permission to appeal will lead to millions of claims being pursued by discontented passengers, which in turn could see carriers having to make substantial pay outs for flights that were either delayed or cancelled.”

In order to claim compensation, passengers are urged to write to their airline quoting EU Regulation 261/2004. To be eligible, you must have arrived at your destination more than three hours late.

If your claim is rejected, and you need further assistance, NoVate Direct Legal Solutions can guide you through your problem and help you find the right specialist advice. The referral service is offered totally free of charge.

To find out how NoVate can help you progress your claim, email them on or call 0845 201 0160

Click here to view Naomi Owen’s profile from No5 Chambers.