Passengers Win Compensation for Flight Delay
The process of claiming flight delay compensation is not for the faint-hearted. Two Australian passengers suffered flight delay for more than 23 hours and they thought that their case for compensation under European Union legislation would be a simple matter, they were wrong.
Under EU 261/2004 compensation rules, passengers whose flight is cancelled or arrives more than three hours late can claim up to €600 (£473) depending on the distance of the flight. The compensation rules apply to flights departing from any EU airport (including Iceland, Norway or Switzerland) or arriving in the EU with an EU carrier. See Our website for ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW.
The couple flying from Milan Malpensa to New York (JFK) in April 2014 experienced a long delay. Nearly 24 hours later, the exhausted passengers were finally on their way to New York.
The couple lost a day of their holiday, along with the cost of one night’s hotel accommodation, theatre tickets and dinner reservation, all of which was pre-booked, pre-paid, and non-refundable.
Airlines are expected to inform passengers of their right to compensation in the event of lengthy delays. An estimated 11 million peopleper year in Europe alone are eligible to claim for €6 billion in compensation for flight disruptions under European Union (EC) 261 legislation. When the couple contacted the airline, Emirates rejected the claim. The airline stated that the matter had been investigated by ENAC, the Italian Civil Aviation Authority, and ENAC had ruled that the delay was due to ‘extraordinary circumstances’ and Emirates was therefore not obliged to pay compensation. Emirates provided no evidence of either the investigation or ruling.
Airlines can only legally sidestep compensation claims if a flight disruption is due to extraordinary circumstances beyond an airline’s control; events that ‘could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken’. These include bad weather, security issues, industrial action, and hidden manufacturing defects.
Airlines often try to avoid compensation pay-outs for aircraft technical failures, arguing that this also falls under extraordinary circumstances, but a recent European Court of Justice ruling (Corina van der Lans v KLM) rejected this argument.
It took two years, countless emails, forms, document submissions, and ultimately an investigation and ruling from the appropriate local ENAC Directorate to secure full compensation of €600 each.
We find airlines will attempt to discourage passengers from successful claims. Contact our team today to enable us to reclaim your compensation for your flight delay we only charge a “success fee” when the claim is successful.