Passengers of non-EU airlines who miss connecting flights due to delays will now be able to claim compensation, following a court ruling against Emirates.
The UK Court of Appeal has backed a passenger who brought a case against the Dubai-based airline over whether non-EU airlines should have to pay compensation in the event of missed connections.
Under a European regulation known as EC261, passengers are legally entitled to up to €600 ($700) compensation if they are delayed on the first leg of their flight, which causes them to miss a connecting flight, meaning they arrive at their final destination more than three hours late.
However Emirates, along with three other non-EU airlines, had argued that if the missed connecting flight was outside the European bloc, they were not liable to pay.
The ruling means passengers of non-EU airlines can now claim compensation whether the final destination is within or outside the EU.
According to UK media reports, it could open the floodgates for more than a million passengers who had previously had their claims rejected.
Passengers have up to six years to claim for a delayed flight. The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has estimated as many as 200,000 passengers a year are affected.
“The Court of Appeal’s ruling could not be clearer and is fantastic news for passengers, who can now demand airlines pay them the compensation they are entitled to when they miss a connecting flight,” CAA chief executive Andrew Haines said.
“This ruling sends a clear message to Emirates and the other airlines that have used protracted legal processes to prolong their refusal to give consumers their legal entitlement.”
However, Emirates suggested it would be challenging the decision.
“We are very disappointed by the Court of Appeal’s ruling in relation to the application of EC261 on our flights from the UK involving a stopover in Dubai, and are currently seeking legal advice on our options,” the airline said in a statement.
“Our commitment to excellent customer service will not be compromised and we will continue to always put the safety of our passengers and crew first, going above and beyond to ensure that any disruption caused are kept to a minimum.
Read full originally published story at: gulfbusiness.com