Thomas Cook Airlines pays up for cancelled flightAirline ordered to pay up by court

03 February 2006

An airline passenger has won GBP840 in the small claims court after he was refused compensation for a cancelled flight.

Under EU passenger rights regulations David Harbord was entitled to compensation and a refund from Thomas Cook Airlines after his Stansted to Vancouver flight was cancelled in August last year.

But Mr Harbord was told that the flight had only been delayed, not cancelled, and would be flying from Manchester the next day. Airlines only have to provide refreshments, meals and overnight accommodation for a delay, but have to give monetary compensation for cancellations. For more information see Civil Aviation Authority website.

Oxford County Court did not accept that the change of day and the switch of airport constituted a delay. It also rejected Thomas Cook Airline's claim that that there had been extraordinary circumstances, and ruled the airline had unfairly interpreted the new EU regulations.

If your flight has been cancelled, see what you are entitled to. 

Lorna Cowan, editor of Holiday Which?, said: 'Under the new EU regulations there are very few excuses that airlines can use to avoid paying up to passengers for cancellations. So if an airline refuses to pay up, and you have a sizeable claim, its worth taking it to the small claims court.'

See our step-by-step guide if you are thinking of taking a company to the small claims court