A figure of €95,700 in compensation has been secured by the Civil Aviation Authority in six months for UK passengers hit by delays of more than three hours that it considers were within their airline’s control.
The European Court of Justice confirmed in a case against Tui that passengers whose flights arrive more than three hours late may be entitled to compensation for the delay, unless circumstances outside the airline’s control delayed the flight.
The regulator is managing a backlog of claims as a result of the judgment, and warned that it may take more time to assess the situation and respond to passengers than usual.
The CAA has received more than 5,800 claims from passengers since the ruling who have approached their airline and are not satisfied with the response they received.
“To date we have argued that compensation should be paid in around half of the claims we have considered,” the authority said.
Director of regulatory policy Iain Osborne said: “Long delays and cancellations only affect a minority of passengers, but when they occur they can have a massive impact on people’s holidays and business trips.
“Since the position around compensation was clarified by the European Court, our free mediation team have seen a deluge of claims from passengers – leading to us securing them nearly €100,000 in compensation already.
“However, 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 EU is separately reviewing provision of assistance and compensation to passengers under the EC Regulation 261/2004 rules.
The CAA said it is looking forward to playing a full part in that review as it progresses.
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