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Scope creep for airlines on flight delay law

Could airlines eventually be found liable to pay compensation for flight delays following passenger air rage incidents, wonders Rob Williams

24 May 2016

Just when airlines thought that the scope of what constituted 'extraordinary circumstances' had been clarified by a string of court cases over the years, a recent county court judgment in Birmingham has potentially reopened the debate.

This case may expand the ambit of 'extraordinary circumstances' to include delay caused by passengers, even if the behaviour of the passenger leading to the delay was accidental. Theoretically, this opens up airlines to a whole new class of claims where previously they might have been able to avoid paying compensation.In the Birmingham case,
Mrs Edwards and her family brought proceedings against
an airline pursuant to Regulation 261/2004 for compensation for the nine-hour delay they experienced following the actions of a passenger, who accidently broke the emergency door handle on a flight some 24 hours earlier. A replacement part had to be flown in to repair the ...

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