Our Clients Ms Barani and Mr Balvi were flying from Bologna to Phoenix via London Heathrow with British Airways. The first flight was delayed by 4 hours which meant our Clients missed her connecting flight. They were eventually rebooked the next day arriving with a delay of over 17 hours.
Our Clients sought compensation from BA for £516.44 each under EC Regulation 261/2004.
BA denied the claim saying that they had a Defence to the claim under Article 5(3) of the Regulation – known as the “extraordinary circumstances” defence.
Court proceedings were issued and BA appointed a city firm of solicitors to defend the claim for them and instructed a barrister to attend the final hearing. Hayward Baker appeared on behalf of our Clients.
At trial BA’s barrister argued that the flight was delayed due to Air Traffic Control restrictions as a result of adverse weather on an earlier flight which had a knock on impact on our Clients flight.
On closer analysis of the documents that the airline provided we argued that whilst the initial delay maybe due to these restrictions the main reason our flight could not depart on time was that there was no crew available to operate the flight which could not give a Defence to the claim.
In his written Judgment, District Judge Stewart at the Southampton County Court stated:
“…the Claimant submits that there can be no real difference between staff being unavailable because of a wildcat strike, which certainly occurred in the case of Krusemann v TUIfly and staff being unavailable because of the need to rest…this is in essence both part and parcel of the delivery of a service that cannot operate without staff”
The Judge went onto hold that this was “unanswerable” and that “The apex of any airline is to provide crew to operate the plane and in my judgment the provision of staff is just as intrinsically linked to the provision of that service as maintaining the plane. Therefore, any problem encountering staff difficulties should be classed within the control of the airline and this is nothing out of the ordinary.”
The Judge awarded the Claimants £516.44 of compensation each.
Free Eligibility Check
If your flight has been disrupted due to a delay or cancellation you may have the potential to make a claim under the EU Regulation 261/2004 for compensation. This could be upto €600 per person. Contact Hayward Baker on 01329 227 983 or complete our On-Line Form today to discuss the potential for a claim.
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