Flight delays compensation: punctuality or pay out?

By Sarah Booth

Jet2 is set to appeal a Court of Appeal decision as to whether ‘technical problems affecting the operation of an aircraft’ is an extraordinary circumstance entitling a carrier to avoid liability to pay flight delay compensation to passengers.

Regulation (EC) 261/2004 states that an airline must pay compensation to passengers for cancelled or heavily delayed flights. The regulations apply to anybody whose flight departs from an airport in a European member state or whose flight arrives into a member state and is operated by a European airline. If a passenger’s flight is delayed or if the passenger misses a connecting flight and arrives at his final destination more than three hours later than planned, the passenger is entitled to compensation of between €250 (£200) and €600 dependent upon the length of the delay and the length of the flight.

An airline can defend a claim under the regulations if it can show that the reason for the delay was an ‘extraordinary circumstance’, such as civil unrest, terrorism or severe weather…

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