Anyone seeking to receive flight delay compensation for a delayed or cancelled flight, through the UK’s small claims courts could in the future have to deal with much higher court costs, if they wish to seek compensation.
The Ministry of Justice this week has announced that it will change the rules in which compensation for hearing fees are given to people who use the small claims court.
At present, anyone who uses the small claims court have the right to cancel their scheduled hearing and then ask for a full refund, if the application is sent a full seven days prior to their scheduled hearing.
However, now with the new rules being implemented by the MOJ, people will only be able to receive a refund, if the cancellation is made 1 month prior or 28 days before the date.
An article in Travel Weekly talked more about the new changes.
Hearing fee amounts vary from £25 to £335 depending on how much a claim is worth. A family of four claiming €600 each could lose up to £170, according to Bott & Co.
An exact figure of the number of claims filed each year is unknown, but the change could result in hundreds of thousands of pounds of consumer’s money being lost through no fault of their own.
The change in law will affect the thousands of airline passengers who go to the small claims court each year to claim flight delay compensation, the law firm predicted.
Passengers will end up paying more money for their evidence to be seen and airlines will have to pay the hearing fee if the passenger is successful, making the change unwelcome by not just passengers claiming themselves but also the airlines, Bott & Co added.
It is standard within the small claims court system that exchange of evidence between both parties happens 14 days before the hearing date.