Air passengers to get cash handouts if delayed for three hours after EU court victory

| October 23, 2012 | 0 Comments

This Is Money Reporters

09:34 EST, 23 October 2012


11:53 EST, 23 October 2012

Short-haul air passengers who are delayed by more than three hours can expect to be compensated after airlines lost a legal fight in the European court today.

A number of airlines, including British Airways and easyJet, had challenged a 2009 ruling that passengers on flights to and from Europe should be compensated if they are delayed for more than three hours.

Today the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg confirmed the 2009 ruling after the airlines had challenged the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) over the matter.

Pay and delay: Airlines will have to compensate delayed passengers after losing their legal challenge.

Pay and delay: Airlines will have to compensate delayed passengers after losing their legal challenge.

There will still be exceptional circumstances where compensation will not have to be paid, such as industrial action and extreme weather.

But there are a number of compensation cases that have been put on hold since 2009 for which carriers might now have to pay out.

Today’s judgment was welcomed by the CAA which said the situation was now clearer for passengers.

CAA regulatory policy director Iain Osborne said: ‘Every year around 200million passengers travel on two million flights to and from the UK, with the vast majority experiencing no problems.

‘However, when something does go wrong, there are regulations in place to protect travellers, and the CAA is ready to ensure companies abide by them.

‘Today’s judgment from the Court of Justice of the European Union offers much needed clarity for passengers, the airline industry and the CAA about when compensation must be paid following delays.’

A British Airways spokesman said: ‘We are aware of the ruling and will continue to comply with the regulations.’

Travel company Tui, which was involved in the legal challenge, said: ‘We note today’s ruling by the ECJ.

‘We are committed to treating our customers fairly and will continue to work with the European institutions to ensure that the underlying legislation is revised such that it strikes the right balance for passengers and airlines.’

An easyJet spokesman said: ‘We are disappointed with the outcome but we are pleased we have final clarification and certainty on this issue. We will do everything we can to ensure our passengers do not have delays. Our priority is to look after our passengers.’

The comments below have not been moderated.

Its Only Right Just people get Compensation after 3hrs delayed.

Dr Spock

23/10/2012 17:49

This ruling only applies to EU airlines. Non-EU airlines do not have to pay compensation.

– DaveH , Marlow, 23/10/2012 16:45

Wrong. It applies to all airlines flying OUT of the EU but not to non EU Airlines flying inbound to Europe.

Peter Robson

Durham, United Kingdom,
23/10/2012 17:39

the airlines will just bump the prices up even more!


23/10/2012 17:33

So I suppose we can expect fares to rise generally to cover this, GREAT


23/10/2012 17:31

As much as I can’t stand the gross overcharging of hidden extras etc by certain airlines I don’t like idea of these cowboys playing with passengers safety to save a few bob. The ruling sounds like an air crash waiting to happen. These airlines are so money grabbing i doubt they’ll waste time making sure safety is paramount if they have to payout for running late… Yikes!!


23/10/2012 17:22

A short while back I had a four hour delay and did not even get a free glass of water offered! The airlines will simply ignore this as they do all other regulations directly affecting the passengers.

The Ferryman

Cheshire, United Kingdom,
23/10/2012 17:22

Another reason to leave the EU.

– jjaques , Izeaux, 23/10/2012 16:27

Yes, damn that evil union. How dare they try to help out consumers.


23/10/2012 17:15

Most of the time delays are down to disruptive passengers, weather, technical issues. It’s not as if they enjoy delaying passengers!! I flew with Easyjet recently and we were early on both journeys! Don’t turn this article into an airline bashing one people!


Uckfield, East Sussex,
23/10/2012 17:15

The airlines aren’t always the bad guys, most national carriers already pay for delays and passengers aren’t above doing a little ripping off themselves, a few years ago BA used to pay to replace more ‘lost’ Gucci suitcases in a year than Gucci used to manufacture.


Wasp in the South, United Kingdom,
23/10/2012 17:15

What does Ryan Air have to say on this subject? Mr O’Leary please reply asp as we are often held up by your company.


Bristol, United Kingdom,
23/10/2012 17:03

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Get Adobe Flash player