Luxembourg – Air passengers are entitled to a compensation if their flight is delayed by three hours or more. That is the final judgment as ruled by the Court of Justice of the European Union. For years, airline companies have called legislation into question and have been unwilling to compensate passengers for flight delays. With today’s judgment, the Court – being the highest court in the European Union – has made an end to any lack of clarity.
Based on the Sturgeon arrest, the Court already ruled in 2009 that a flight delay entitles air passengers to a compensation of up to £480 per passenger. Conditions are that the flight was delayed by three hours or more and that no extraordinary circumstances (e.g. extreme weather conditions, unannounced strikes) had an effect on the delay.
Airline companies, stakeholder organisations and air passengers continued to disagree, making clear legislation a necessity. On 15 May of this year, Advocate General Yves Bot already stated that there should be no reason to call the current legislation into question. This judgment is now confirmed by the European Court. Additionally, the Court affirmed that this legislation has retroactive effect.
European judges rule in favour of air passengers time and again. Nonetheless, receiving a compensation still remains a hassle. “This probably will not change even after the verdict,” according to www.Flight-Delayed.co.uk – a web portal dedicated to helping air passengers claim their compensation. The ruling will end up costing the airlines hundreds of millions.
Passenger rights are increasingly enforced. The European Parliament is working on a directive that will require airline companies to refer to passenger rights on every ticket they sell. For now, www.flight-delayed.co.uk is the easiest way for passengers to claim compensation. With their '3-minute claim processor', starting a procedure is accessible to everyone.