On Thursday 4th September 2014, a new ruling was enforced by the European Court of Justice which is extremely good news for passengers claiming flight delay compensation. The ruling will specifically benefit passengers with flight delay compensation claims for delays of approximately between 2 hours 40 minutes and 3 hours, as these flights are now entitled to flight delay compensation. Before the ruling, there was great deliberation on whether these flights qualify for flight delay compensation, as EC Regulation 261/2004 stated that a flight had to be a minimum of 3 hours late in order to qualify for compensation. Even flights with delays of 2 hours 58 minutes were technically not entitled to claim compensation under European law. This was recently seen with a Germanwings compensation claim, where the plane touched down with a delay of just under 3 hours. In this case, the concept of arrival time was crucial as it determined whether or not Mr Ronny Henning had a valid claim or not. Even though the plane touched down just under 3 hours, by the time the plane had reached the gate, the delay was over 3 hours.
The reason for the tightening of this regulation is because the official “arrival” time was seen as a loophole in which airlines could use to their advantage. Airlines would consider the arrival time as the second the wheels of the plane touched down on the tarmac but passengers contested this as it takes a while for the plane to reach the gate. On average, the time from landing, to taxiing the aircraft to the gate, to eventually opening the doors can be anything from 20 minutes upwards. This depends on the airport and the volume of flights that are arriving at that specific time. Air traffic can delay aeroplanes reaching the gate. After assessing this, the European Courts decided that the actual arrival time is when the aircraft reaches the gate and opens the doors allowing passengers to disembark the aircraft.
Flight delay refund companies such as Blueway Limited will be able to re-open cases that had previously been rejected. If you have been subject to a flight delay of 2 hours 50 minutes for example, you are now entitled to claim back compensation. Passengers could be entitled to 250, 300, 400 or the maximum 600 Euros worth of compensation depending on the flight length and the length of the delay. The airline has to be fully responsible for the delay to claim compensation and applies to passengers departing from any airport situated within the EU or passengers arriving in the EU travelling with an EU carrier (this includes Iceland, Norway and Switzerland). If you have been subject to a flight delay within the past six years and would like to make a compensation claim,or if you would like a case that was previously rejected to be reassessed contact a flight delay refunds company such as Blueway Limited.