Airplane landing at sunset at London City airport

European Court ruled that delay after landing also counts

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The European Court of Justice has determined on Thursday that the waiting time after landing counts as a delay. This means that the plane has officially arrived only when the aricraft doors are opened. The time between landing and the opening of aircraft doors shall therefore be calculated on top of the total delay. This decision is said to bring clarity to many passenger cases. 

For a delay of three or more hours passengers are entitled to 250, 400 or 600 euros respectively. However, there were many uncertainties when calculating the total delay time . The claim of a Germanwings passenger was the reason for the European Court to clarify. The aircraft in question departed with a delay 3:10 hours but arrived with a delay of 2:58. This was calculated based on the time the aircraft wheels hit the airstrip.

The doors of the aircraft however were opened later, leading to a delay of 3:03 hours. While the passenger demanded compensation, the airline argued that, technically speaking, the delay was 2 minutes short of compensation entitlement.

The court has given the passenger right and thus dispelled the uncertainty about the actual arrival time. The official arrival time is therefore the moment the aircraft doors are opened.

Written by: Team