Brussels. The European courts ruled earlier this week that air passengers with connecting flights should be compensated when their arrival at their final destination is equal to or more than a delay of three hours.
This latest ruling alters the existing regulations for compensation in case of delays. Compensation in the case of connecting flights used to be awarded for a delay of three hours or more in the initial departing flight. Now it seems that a late arrival, caused by whatever delayed stage in a series of connecting flights is subject to compensation too.
The new ruling refers to the particular case of a passenger who booked a flight from the German city of Bremen to Asunción in Paraguay with stop-offs in Paris and Sao Paulo in Brazil.
The flight from Bremen to Paris, operated by Air France, set off almost two and a half hours late. This meant that the passenger missed her connecting flight from Paris to Sao Paulo and arrived in Paraguay eleven hours late.
Ordered by EU legislation to pay the passenger 600 euros compensation, Air France appealed the ruling in Germany on the grounds that their Paris flight left less than three hours late.
The German law courts then requested clarification on the matter from the European courts who stated that, “the delay compensated for ought to refer to the supposed journey arrival time, that is at the final destination”. The statement went on, “Any other ruling would be considered as unjust. Compensation does not solely refer to a delay in departure”.
Consumers’ associations have approved the latest ruling. According to them, passengers now not only have the law on their side but also clear information on what they are entitled to claim compensation for.