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The BA Compensation Thread: Your guide to Regulation 261/2004

The BA Compensation Thread: Your guide to Regulation 261/2004

Old Jun 2, 2014, 7:02 am
  #751  
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I think you should follow this up. Thankfully BA doesn't sell season tickets (well, at least not of that variety).
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Old Jun 2, 2014, 7:05 am
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Small claims action. Cut and dried case this I'm afraid.
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Old Jun 2, 2014, 7:06 am
  #753  
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Not shocking at all. The EU carriers, including BA, are taking the position that when a system is properly maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications, that its failure is "extraordinary" and therefore not covered by EC 261/2004 delay/cancellation compensation.

Put simply, if the hydraulics on the aircraft in question were properly maintained as per protocol, their failure was "extraordinary". If they had not been, BA would have been on the hook.

The carriers will fight this one for as long as they can and are certainly finding some sympathy in the expert engineering community. Will take a while to see how that translate into practical legal results.

As an aside, I hope that OP did obtain whatever Duty of Care was appropriate under the circumstances as that requirement is not tied to the reason for the delay.
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Old Jun 2, 2014, 7:43 am
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The fact that a lot of carriers take this position doesn't mean they are right. In fact, they are wrong as the current legislation is written.
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Old Jun 2, 2014, 7:47 am
  #755  
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Originally Posted by clarkeysntfc
Small claims action. Cut and dried case this I'm afraid.
The threat of perhaps, but this will never see the inside of a courtroom.
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Old Jun 2, 2014, 8:24 am
  #756  
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Seems to be a case of an airlines interpretation of "extraordinary circumstances" being different from that of the passengers interpretation of the rule. It's a grey are that seems to have caused a lot of controversy.....from what I've read there are many instances of confusion being caused by it.

Yet another EU drafted cock-up.
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Old Jun 2, 2014, 8:40 am
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Originally Posted by Often1
Not shocking at all. The EU carriers, including BA, are taking the position that when a system is properly maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications, that its failure is "extraordinary" and therefore not covered by EC 261/2004 delay/cancellation compensation.

Put simply, if the hydraulics on the aircraft in question were properly maintained as per protocol, their failure was "extraordinary". If they had not been, BA would have been on the hook.

The carriers will fight this one for as long as they can and are certainly finding some sympathy in the expert engineering community. Will take a while to see how that translate into practical legal results.

As an aside, I hope that OP did obtain whatever Duty of Care was appropriate under the circumstances as that requirement is not tied to the reason for the delay.
If they weren't maintaining their planes properly surely they'd be on the hook for a hell of a lot more than EU261 compensation?

And while there is still potential for a court in the future to find otherwise, I'd personally say the high-profile judgements that have been made over the last couple of years stating that technical issues are not extraordinary circumstances makes it less of a legal grey area than a few posts on here imply it is. Certainly not black and white, but if the OP pursued BA on this the odds are highly in their favour.
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Old Jun 2, 2014, 8:47 am
  #758  
 
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Originally Posted by HIDDY
Seems to be a case of an airlines interpretation of "extraordinary circumstances" being different from that of the passengers interpretation of the rule. It's a grey are that seems to have caused a lot of controversy.....from what I've read there are many instances of confusion being caused by it.

Yet another EU drafted cock-up.
I think the reasoning from the legislators was that if planes are properly maintained, they won't break and if they do break, they were not properly maintained... That is the only reasoning that makes sense with the current legislation.

EU has a draft document though, which list mechanical failures as extraordinary, so this might change in the future and that would severely limit the reach of EU261/2004.

Now, the airlines may take whatever position they wish, but the fact remains, unless it's an external factor, such as a bird strike or similar, the legislation is on the consumer side.
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Old Jun 2, 2014, 9:00 am
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Originally Posted by Often1
Not shocking at all. The EU carriers, including BA, are taking the position that when a system is properly maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications, that its failure is "extraordinary" and therefore not covered by EC 261/2004 delay/cancellation compensation.

Put simply, if the hydraulics on the aircraft in question were properly maintained as per protocol, their failure was "extraordinary". If they had not been, BA would have been on the hook.

The carriers will fight this one for as long as they can and are certainly finding some sympathy in the expert engineering community. Will take a while to see how that translate into practical legal results.

As an aside, I hope that OP did obtain whatever Duty of Care was appropriate under the circumstances as that requirement is not tied to the reason for the delay.
The EU carriers can take whatever position they want, indeed it would be strange if they took any other position than to defend company profits.

However, whatever sympathy may be evoked from the expert engineering community is neither here nor there. What counts is what the precedent case law has to say on the matter and it is pretty clear to those who have studied it. The reasoning of the ECJ in Wallentin-Hermann is contained in paras 15-34 of the judgment: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/...CJ0549:EN:HTML

Essentially, the operative part of the judgment concludes that a technical problem with an aircraft is not covered by the concept of extraordinary circumstances unless the problem stems from events which are not inherent in the normal activity of an air carrier, for example "in the situation where it was revealed by the manufacturer of the aircraft comprising the fleet of the air carrier concerned, or by a competent authority, that those aircraft, although already in service, are affected by a hidden manufacturing defect which impinges on flight safety. The same would hold for damage to aircraft caused by acts of sabotage or terrorism".

By expressly stating those clear examples the ECJ judgment implies that any other technical problem encountered during the normal activity of an airline may not be covered by ECs.
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Old Jun 2, 2014, 9:49 am
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I reckon a few more emails and you may get the compensation!

If that doesn't work and you do go the legal route, BA will most likely ask to put a stay on the case (i.e. on hold) until a High Court decision is made regarding technical delays at outstations.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...d-flights.html

(if you google Ronald Huzar v Jet2.com you can find other sources - I used a link to the Daily Mail website as I know it is a favourite of the forum!)
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Old Jun 2, 2014, 10:05 am
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Originally Posted by 8420PR
If that doesn't work and you do go the legal route, BA will most likely ask to put a stay on the case (i.e. on hold) until a High Court decision is made regarding technical delays at outstations.
For clarity, the Huzar v Jet2.com case linked to here does not concern itself primarily with a technical delay at an outstation since Mr Huzar was due to fly from Manchester to Malaga.

There are some on here who would have you believe that anywhere beyond LHR is an "outstation" but to the wider populace, we in the "expert geographic community" simply know better!
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Old Jun 2, 2014, 10:18 am
  #762  
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Originally Posted by callum9999
If they weren't maintaining their planes properly surely they'd be on the hook for a hell of a lot more than EU261 compensation?



Lufthansa refused to pay up on the grounds that they maintain their aircraft to standards over and above those required. Therefore any breakdown should be considered an act of God.

(I'm not making it up).
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Old Jun 2, 2014, 10:20 am
  #763  
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Your analysis is likely correct. It is, however, belied by a substantial body of aviation engineering expertise which is to the effect that even when systems are properly maintained, they still break. Thus, the binary view that anything properly maintained won't break is simply unscientific.

How the courts deal with this in the near-term and whether EC 261/2004 is amended to reflect more modern scientific views remains to be seen. But, the carriers are not afraid to fight this and are far better off contesting as many of these as possible as the cost of doing so is minimal, and then using untoward legal results as an advocacy argument.

As is clear from history, the law and reality do not always merge. This is not about pro or anti-consumer law-making, it is simply about getting the facts. The EC could find that the engineers are, in fact, correct but that compensation should still be paid.
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Old Jun 2, 2014, 10:25 am
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No, in the Huzar case he was definitely flying Malaga to Manchester.

http://www.bottonline.co.uk/wp-conte...et2-appeal.pdf

But you are right, the fact the fault happened at an outstation is not relevant, as the case is purely about if a technical defect on the plane is considered an extraordinary event, or within the control of the airline.

Note that in Wallentin-Hermann the technical issue was found during routine maintenance the day before the flight, which is the key difference Jet2's laywers are pushing.
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Old Jun 2, 2014, 10:29 am
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Originally Posted by 8420PR
No, in the Huzar case he was definitely flying Malaga to Manchester.

http://www.bottonline.co.uk/wp-conte...et2-appeal.pdf

But you are right, the fact the fault happened at an outstation is not relevant, as the case is purely about if a technical defect on the plane is considered an extraordinary event, or within the control of the airline.

Note that in Wallentin-Hermann the technical issue was found during routine maintenance the day before the flight, which is the key difference Jet2's laywers are pushing.
I stand corrected on Mr Huzar's routing.
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