How to claim compensation for flight delays and cancellations as court rules you can claim for missed connections

PASSENGERS can claim compensation for delayed or cancelled flights – even when they miss their connection, a court has ruled.

Under EU rules, passengers can claim compensation of up to €600 (£534) for delays and cancellations of more than three hours that are the airline's fault.

That's as long as passengers are on a flight that departs from an EU airport or on a flight with an EU airline landing at an EU airport.

This includes claiming for missed connections that are booked as part of the same ticket, rather than as two separate transactions.

But now the European Court of Justice has closed a loophole that may have seen some passengers with connecting flights operated by different airlines lose out.

The case involved a connecting flight sold by Czech air carrier, Ceske aerolinie, from the Czech Republic to Thailand via United Arab Emirates.

Top 10 worst routes for flight delays:

THESE are the 10 most delayed flights from the UK, according to Which?:

  1. Stansted to Dalaman – Thomas Cook
  2. Liverpool John Lennon to Milan Malpensa – Ryanair
  3. Stansted to Antalya – Thomas Cook
  4. Stansted to Nice – Ryanair
  5. Stansted to Leipzig – Ryanair
  6. Bristol to Bergamo – Ryanair
  7. Stansted to Luxembourg – Ryanair
  8. Stansted to Billund – Ryanair
  9. Stansted to Bari Palese – Ryanair
  10. Stansted to Ibiza – easyJet

Here, the judge ruled that passengers could claim compensation from the flight's operator, Ceske aerolinie, even though the delay was caused by non-EU carrier Etihad on the second leg of the journey, which also wasn't an EU flight.

It means others in a similar situation should be able to do the same.

Coby Benson, flight delay compensation solicitor at Bott and Co said: “This is good news for passengers because it gives them more options for claiming compensation when inconvenienced by a delayed or cancelled flight."

My flight's been delayed. Can I get compensation?

Where flights are delayed by three hours or more, passengers may be entitled to claim compensation of up to €250 (£222) for short-haul flights, up to €400 (£356) for mid-haul flights and up to €600 (£534) for long-haul flights.

If the delay is under three hours, you can't claim compensation.

But crucially, compensation is only paid when the delay is the airline's fault – for example, the crew or pilot were late or the airline suffered from routine technical problems.

Problems such as bad weather would be considered an "extraordinary circumstance", which means it's outside of the airlines' control.

So unfortunately you won't get a compensation payout.

If your EU flight has been delayed for more than five hours, you are also entitled to a refund if you no longer wish to travel.

You may also get money for food, drink, communications and accommodation if the delay is overnight.

This kicks in after delays of two hours for short-haul flights, three hours for medium-haul flights, and four hours for long-haul journeys.

My flight's been cancelled. Can I get compensation?

If your flight's been cancelled, you may be able to get compensation if you arrive at your final destination late AND if your flight was cancelled within 14 days of its planned departure.

Compensation is up to €250 (£222) for short-haul flights, up to €400 (£356) for mid-haul flights, and up to €600 (£534) for long-haul flights.

But again, you can only claim if it's the airline's fault for cancelling your flight.

If your flight is cancelled you can also get a full refund if you no longer want to travel – this includes a refund for the return leg.

If you still want to travel, you can ask to be put on an alternative flight, although it’s up to you whether to fly as soon as possible after the cancelled flight or at a later date.

Thomas Cook’s London to Dalaman flight is UK’s most delayed route – here are the other worst offenders.

Compensation payouts for delays and cancellations hit a five-year high last year – with over £400,000 paid to passengers.

We also explain what you should do if you miss your flights and how much it could cost you.

Source: Read Full Article