Britain's aviation authority wins compensation for delays

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

After a ruling last year by the European Court of Justice which found in favour of delayed passengers being paid compensation, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has now helped to secure more than £80,000 for those affected by flight delays.

moneyThe European Court of Justice had upheld a previous decision which said that travellers were entitled to financial compensation if they had to wait for their flights for more than three hours.

There is a caveat that this doesn’t apply if the airline can prove the delay was caused by “extraordinary circumstances”, but many operators have been trying to wriggle out of making any payments whatsoever.

The CAA said it had received over 5,800 claims from passengers who have approached their airlines after experiencing delays but had not been satisfied with the response they received.

Iain Osborne of the CAA commented: "We would far rather that passengers never needed to involve us, and airlines settled claims much more quickly, directly with their passengers. To help them, we will soon be providing airlines with more detailed guidelines about what kind of circumstances we judge are within their control."

The current regulations cover anyone flying from or to any EU, Swiss, Norwegian or Icelandic airport or travelling with any airline based in the same regions.

If a flight is delayed by three hours or more, meals and refreshments are to be provided, along with access to free telephone calls or emails to let other people know what is going on.

As well as this, there is also a financial compensation element of between €250 (£204) and €600 (£490) for each passenger, depending on the length of the flight that has been affected by the delay.

The European Commission (not to be confused with the ECJ) has recently proposed changes to the rules which would reduce the number of delayed flights for which passengers can claim compensation. If approved, they will be enforced next year.

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