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Travellers using airlines to get around will find it easier to claim compensation from their airline for delayed flights after a European Union law has been changed.
The European Union law which sets the minimum compensation levels which passengers whose flights have been delayed has just been adjusted to close a significant loophole which was being used by airlines to swerve paying passengers.
The original law stated that travellers on certain routes within the European Union were entitled to get compensation of up to £475 (€600) if their flight arrives at their planned destination at least three hours late and if the airline is at fault.
Up until now, airlines have been able to argue that their aircraft ‘arrived’ at the airport the moment the wheels touched down, as opposed to when their passengers got off of the plane. However, travellers who have ever travelled via air will know that there’s often quite a delay between the wheels touching down and the time when everyone starts to lead off of the plane – it was this gap in time which allowed airlines to swerve paying out compensation to millions of unsatisfied fliers.
Now, judges at the European Court of Justice closed that loophole by ruling that a flight’s arrival time should be recorded as the time at which the aircraft door is opened, and people are allowed to disembark. This ruling was made after a German budget airline, Germanwings, landed in Bonn two hours and 58 minutes later than intended, but did not park and open its doors until several minutes later, after the three hour deadline had passed. Claims for compensation from its delayed passengers were later rejected, prompting many to appeal to the European Courts of Justice.
Adeline Noorderhaven, of EUClaim – an organisation which provides compensation advice for travellers has said this decision will have a large effect on airlines: “These additional minutes will make a dramatic difference to journey and could see airlines having to pay out hefty compensation to passengers for delayed flights.”
Although compensation can help with travel delays, it doesn’t hurt to also have a travel insurance policy which can help you out too. Should your departure from the UK be delayed beyond its scheduled time of departure by 12 hours or more, Holidaysafe provide a benefit for you to pay for additional food, refreshments and reading material to help pass the time.Please note, Holidaysafe's online prices automatically include a 15% discount against our Customer Service Centre prices.
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