Tried to get compensation for a delayed flight? Then you’d have been thrilled by last year’s ruling that airlines should pay us for flights delayed by over three hours. But now that decision has crash-landed.
Have you ever experienced a long flight delay, waiting hours upon hours in a drab airport lounge praying for your flight to be called?
If so, a judgement by the European Court of Justice in November may have cheered you up. It ruled that if you were travelling on an EU-based airline and the flight was delayed by more than three hours (and not due to an ‘extraordinary circumstance’), you’d be entitled to financial compensation. That’s on top of the food, drink and overnight hotel accommodation that delayed passengers were already entitled to.
The courts had formally ruled on what we already knew – our time is valuable. Just as if your flight had been cancelled altogether, a delay of over three hours would mean you’d be in line for compensation of between €250 and €600, depending on the distance to be flown.
Judgement on flight delays… delayed
In April, a number of UK airlines asked the High Court to review the decision as they felt it was in conflict with other European Regulations. The High Court agreed and it’s now been sent back to the European Court for clarification – meaning that it’s unlikely you’ll get financial compensation for a flight delay until this is all cleared up.
On a short flight, shouldn’t a delay of over three hours be treated as a cancellation? The new court review could take up to two years for clarification. Haven’t we waited long enough?