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Flight Delay Claims - Good and Bad News for Passengers

Under the EU Denied Boarding Regulations, an aircraft passenger who is denied boarding when they have a valid ticket, or experiences a cancellation or significant delay, may claim compensation, except where the delay or cancellation was caused by 'extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken'.

In a recent case against Ryanair, the airline sought to avoid a claim by a passenger because Ryanair's terms and conditions of contract prohibit any claim for damages made more than two years after the event, and the claim was brought after the expiry of that period.

In the County Court, the outcome turned on the meaning of 'damages'. The Court ruled that compensation for a missed flight was not damages and therefore the time limitation imposed by Ryanair did not apply.

However, the bad news for the passenger (and confirmed in another case) was that since the compensation was not damages, he could not also claim interest on the sum payable.

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