EC 261: court confirms English passengers may claim within six years of flight

Hot on the heels of its recent decision in Huzar v Jet2, the English Court of Appeal has handed down another passenger-friendly judgment. In James Dawson v Thomson Airways, the court has confirmed that the limitation period within which passengers may bring EC 261 claims in England and Wales is six years.

Mr Dawson’s claim arose from a flight from London Gatwick to the Dominican Republic in 2006 that was delayed by six hours as a result of crew shortages caused by sickness. He sought compensation under EC 261 of €600 (£480) per passenger. Thomson accepted that it would have been liable to make the payment if the claim had been brought in time, but argued that the claim was out of time by virtue of the two-year limitation period contained in article 35 of the Montreal Convention, which governs the liability of air carriers.

Mr Dawson countered that the six-year limitation period provided for in the Limitation Act 1980 should apply and therefore he was not out of time as he had commenced his claim just less than six years after the date of his delayed flight…

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