Monday, May 29, 2017

After BA débâcle Tories must agree to keep EU flight compensation scheme

The chief executive of British Airways, Alex Cruz, today said he is "profusely" sorry for an IT meltdown he revealed has disrupted 75,000 passengers' flights.  But the Liberal Democrats are pointing out the scheme that allows passengers to claim compensation could be put at risk due to the Tory extreme Brexit.

Currently, if you're delayed by more than three hours or your flight's cancelled, under EU rule 261/2004 you are often entitled to between £110 and £520 in compensation

What happens next all hinges on the terms of the Great Repeal Bill which was being introduced before the election to overturn the European Communities Act, which took Britain into what was then the Common Market.

It would be open for MPs to either accept EU 261 as it stands or rewrite the regulations.

In October 2016 a spokesman for Bott & Co solicitors said: "A lot of the protection under the regulation comes from ECJ case law which courts in England and Wales must follow. Should the ECJ no longer have jurisdiction there is a real risk that passengers may have the cover of the regulation, but not the cover of some of the very important case law – the right to compensation after three hours comes from case law rather than the regulation for example/"

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Transport spokesperson Jenny Randerson said:  

"These compensation schemes that many people take for granted are now at risk.  What is worse is that the government could end up watering these safeguards down.

"If the government decides to adapt the regulations or create our own version of it then that could well trigger a whole new series of legal challenges by airlines as the law is clarified once more.

"The decisions the Tories are making on Brexit will hit people in the pocket and will erode their rights and protections."
 
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