Australian travellers will be entitled to compensation of almost $800 for delayed flights under Europe’s ‘air passenger rights’ law, the European Court of Justice affirmed in an overnight ruling.
The court rejected a challenge by several European airlines – including British Airways and Lufthansa, along with the International Air Transport Association – against compensation payments for flights departing or arriving in European Union countries which are delayed due to factors outside of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ such as industrial action or extreme weather conditions.
The ruling also applies to flights outside the EU which take place on an airline company based in the EU.
The amount payable depends on the distance of the flight:
* €250 ($315) for flights of 1,500km or less
* €400 ($505) for flights over 1,500km within the EU
* €400 ($505) for flights of 1,500-3,000km between EU and non-EU airports
* €600 ($760) for flights greater than 3,500km
The air passenger rights bill also covers cancelled flights, which attract the same passenger payments as above, although this was not the subject of the airlines’ dispute.
“Passengers whose flights are delayed and those whose flights are cancelled ‘at the very last moment’ must be regarded as being in comparable situations (to cancelled flights) because those passengers suffer similar inconvenience - namely, a loss of time,” the court ruled.
In addition, travellers are also entitled to a full refund if their flight is delayed by five hours or more.
For full details, visit the Air Passenger Rights page at europa.eu.
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.