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Final judgement European Court of Justice on flight delays

Monday, October 1, 2012

Europees Hof van Justitie

Brussels -- As of 2004, passengers are entitled to financial compensation in case of flight cancellations and denied boarding. In 2009, the Sturgeon ruling added flight delays to this list. Airlines are reluctant to pay cases of flight delays and therefore choose to ignore the supposedly vague regulation. This ambiguity will hopefully come to an end on 23 October.

In May of this year, the Advocate-General already advised the Court to confirm the Sturgeon ruling and to state that airlines have to pay in case of flight delays. If the Court agrees with the Advocate-General's advice there will be few possible escapes and excuses left for airlines.Air passengers have been entitled to a financial compensation in case of flight cancellations, denied boarding and rebooked flights since 2004, based on Regulation no. 261/2004.

With the Sturgeon ruling, the Court wanted to make sure air passengers were protected when their flight is delayed for three hours or over. Naturally, this excludes instances where extraordinary circumstances beyond the airline's control occur. However, the problems airlines face are mostly operational and fully within their control.

If you are entitled to a financial compensation, you could - depending on the flight distance and the duration of your delay - receive £199, £320 or £480 from the airline. Do you want to find out how much you are entitled to? Please check your flight.