Brexit and EU261/2004 – An update on your Passenger Rights
UPDATE 19TH JANUARY 2021 – We’ve written a new blog:
Flight Compensation – EU 261/2004 – What happens now post Brexit?
Passenger rights in the UK are some of the best in the world. These rights encourage good service from the Airlines and if matters go wrong then adequate compensation is awarded.
However, passengers are confused over to what happens if we leave the EU with or without a deal on 12th April.
In 2018 the UK government passed the EU Withdrawal Act. This took many existing EU Regulations and passed them into UK law. This Act included an Aviation section which included EC261/2004. Whether we have a deal or no deal we will maintain the current passenger rights.
UK citizens will most likely lose access to European Small Claims Court. The European Court of Justice will also no longer be the final court to adjudicate on EC261/2004 disputes. The ECJ has in the past been consumer friendly so we imagine the UK courts will not be as kind to passengers creating a difference for passengers travelling from the UK. The lack of access to small claims court for international disputes will make it difficult to bring an action against a European Airline that refuses to pay compensation. This will encourage Airlines to wrongly deny claims.
What are the passenger rights for British citizens after Brexit?
Scenario #1 – The government decides to retain the current EC 261/2004.
This would be the best outcome for UK air passengers. This means that passengers would still be eligible for compensation of up to €600 for 3+ hour delays, cancellations and in instances of denied boarding.
EC 261 is currently the most robust and extensive air passenger rights regulation in the world, and remaining within its jurisdiction would be the best option available for UK air passengers.
Scenario #2 – Flight Compensation Regulation Laws are amended.
According to the Department for Transport there is a possibility that the UK could introduce a modified version of EC 261 after Brexit. Many Airlines have lobbied the government to change the legislation. They wish to reduce the amounts that they have to pay in compensation.
“The compensation amounts have not been increased since 2004 and with inflation the top rate claim should be Eur 900 not Eur 600 The amount of compensation is meant to cover the cost of a days loss of holiday or business trip, so rather than be removed this should be increased”
On balance we feel it is unlikely the government would wish that UK passengers should have access to only inferior compensation when compared with our European neighbours.
Scenario #3 – The UK Government decides to repeal EC 261/2004
This is the worst case since UK passengers will have no protection under EU 261/2004. This would allow the Airlines to cancel flights at will or delay flights without the need to pay any compensation. We urge passengers to lobby their members of parliament to ensure that at least the equivalent of EC261/2004 remains in force.
Our advice is to allow extra time when travelling as passport arrangements will change and UK citizens will no longer be classed as EU citizens so likely to increase the waiting time at custom desks.
Flight Delay Pay will be here to champion passenger rights.
Flight Delay Pay is a team of travel and legal professionals with vast knowledge and many years of experience working with European Passenger Rights. We work with airlines and passengers all over the world and take on claims up to 6 years back. If you think your claim fits within the eu261 regulations then claim with us now! Let us take the strain and handle your claim. No win, no fee!