Delayed airline passengers to get up to 600 EUR compensation
Airline passengers whose flights are delayed by three hours or more should be paid up to €600 each by the airline, if the airline is at fault, following a landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice last week.
The ruling means that passengers who are significantly delayed are entitled to the same amount as passengers whose flights are cancelled.
Those travelling on short flights will get €250 for delays, while those taking long flights will get the full €600.
Which? Holiday's Rochelle Turner said: This judgment means that consumers will now be compensated properly for long and often frustrating delays and not just when the airline takes the decision to cancel a flight.""
Until now, passengers who suffered lengthy delays at airports have only been entitled to a couple of free phone calls, free refreshments and a hotel bed, where necessary, plus the option to cancel their flight with a full refund if they were held up for five hours or more.
The European Court ruling has also made it clear that airlines will no longer be able to wriggle out of paying compensation by claiming delays were caused by technical problems beyond its control.
The ruling has clarified a five-year-old piece of EU legislation which stated that airlines would not have to pay compensation if delays were caused by 'extraordinary circumstances' beyond their control.
The judges said last week that a technical problem with an aircraft could not be regarded as an 'extraordinary circumstance' unless the problem was caused by events which were outside the airline's actual control.