Extension to the EU Regulation 261/04 and what does it mean for you
There has been some big news for travellers in the recent posts on Travel Weekly and Smarter Travel.
European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled on Thursday, 11th July, that European Union airlines selling tickets to locations outside the EU on non-EU partner carriers are still required to provide compensation to passengers if a flight is significantly delayed.
This is a major extension to the EU Regulation 261/04, which entitles customers to compensation for delays over three hours.
Previously, the regulation only applied to flights departing or arriving in Europe.
The extension to the regulation was prompted after 11 passengers’ connecting flight was delayed.
The passengers were traveling from Prague to Bangkok, connecting through Abu Dhabi.
They booked their tickets as a single reservation, traveling on Czech Airlines, which took them from the initial location to Abu Dhabi on time. However, the connecting flight with Etihad Airways arrived 8 hours late.
The infuriated costumers sought compensation for their trouble.
Despite the blame laying in the Etihad Airways, the court has ruled “that a flight with one or more connections which is the subject of a single reservation constitutes a whole for the purposes of the right of passengers to compensation provided for in the regulation on the rights of air passengers”. (as stated on the Court of Justice of the European Union’s press release)
As the Czech Airlines was the one who sold the tickets and made reservations, therefore filling the role of the carrier for the whole trip, the court hold them responsible.
This ruling held the Czech Airlines accountable for issuing standard compensation of €600 (around £540) to the passengers.
Czech Airlines has argued that it should not be responsible for another airlines mistake, but the court has made a final decision.
However, the ECJ has stated that Czech Airlines can sue Etihad to “obtain redress for that financial cost”.
Although this is great news for travellers, it is not so for many companies. Some of the major airlines are heavily against the strict E.U consumer protection rules and are campaigning for their ease.
Thinking long-term, we also have no perspective on what will happen to British airlines and flights after Brexit, making the future relation to this ruling uncertain.
Had a delayed flight? No worries! If the flight arrived more than 3 hours late and it was the airline’s fault, you are entitled to receive compensation. You have 6 years from the date you were due to travel to make a claim.
To find out if you can claim compensation, call us on 0151 306 3694 or fill in a claim form on our website.