Passengers flying with UK airlines should know about the Huzar v Jet2.com case

Are all technical issues exceptional?

Have you ever experienced an unexpected delay to your flight in the UK? It can be frustrating and disruptive, to say the least. But did you know that you could be entitled to compensation under certain circumstances? In fact, there was a landmark case in 2014 that clarified a crucial aspect of passenger rights in the UK. The case was Huzar v Jet2.com, and in this blog post, we’ll explain what it was all about and what it means for you as an airline passenger in the UK.

To understand the Huzar v Jet2.com case, we need to go back to the EU Regulation 261/2004. This regulation sets out the rules for compensation and assistance for passengers in the event of denied boarding, flight cancellation, or long delay. The regulation applies to all flights departing from airports in the EU, as well as flights from non-EU countries to EU airports operated by EU airlines. The amount of compensation varies depending on the distance of the flight and the length of the delay.

Now, back to the case. Huzar was a passenger on a Jet2.com flight from Malaga to Manchester in 2011. The flight was delayed by 27 hours due to a mechanical fault. Jet2.com argued that the delay was caused by an unforeseeable technical problem, and therefore they were not liable to pay compensation under the EU Regulation. However, the Court of Appeal ruled in favour of Huzar, stating that a technical problem that arises during normal aircraft operations is not an extraordinary circumstance, and therefore the airline must pay compensation.

This was a significant ruling for passenger rights in the UK, as it clarified that airlines cannot rely on technical faults as an excuse to avoid paying compensation. Of course, there are still circumstances where compensation may not be payable, such as if the delay was caused by factors outside the airline’s control, like extreme weather conditions or air traffic control strikes. Nonetheless, Huzar v Jet2.com confirmed that airlines have a duty to maintain their aircraft and cannot simply blame technical faults for delays or cancellations.

The outcome of Huzar v Jet2.com has been a positive development for UK airline passengers. However, it’s worth noting that many airlines still try to avoid paying compensation when they can. If you find yourself in a situation where you believe you’re entitled to compensation, you should first contact the airline and find out how to make a claim. If the airline refuses to pay, you can escalate your complaint to the Civil Aviation Authority or contact us for assistance.

It’s also worth mentioning that some airlines have been known to use delays caused by technical faults as an excuse to force passengers to accept other flights or vouchers instead of compensation. This is not acceptable, and passengers should be aware of their rights. If you’re offered an alternative flight or compensation in kind, you have the right to refuse and insist on receiving monetary compensation instead.


The Huzar v Jet2.com case was a landmark ruling for UK airline passengers, as it clarified that airlines cannot use technical issues as an excuse to avoid paying compensation. If you experience a delayed flight due to technical faults, you may be entitled to compensation under the EU Regulation 261/2004. However, airlines still try to avoid paying when they can, so it’s important to know your rights and how to make a claim. Don’t be afraid to stand up for your rights as a passenger.


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