The European Union’s top court has upheld new requirements for airlines flying into or out of the EU to compensate air passengers who suffer from delays or cancelled flights, or overbooking — with food, lodging, and, in some cases, cash.
The European Court of Justice dismissed a
challenge by airlines who said the rules unfairly penalised carriers for conditions that were sometimes beyond their control; They said this would hamper the industry and end up hurting consumers.
The attempt to block the implementation of the new rules was filed by IATA and the European Low Fares Airline Association, both of which represent airlines’ interests.
For disruption of a flight of up to 1,500km, 250 euros is due, 400 euros for up to 3,500km, 600 euros for longer haul — subject to the cause of the problem or how long it lasted.
In some cases, carriers must give flyers a refund and a trip back to their point of departure.
Lowcost carriers say the compensation should be in proportion to the prices paid for the tickets, and that they should be exempted from paying in cases where the cause of the inconvenience to passengers is not their fault, such as air traffic control, airport management or strikes.