A landmark ruling made by the ECJ has now made it possible for European passengers with connecting flights outside of the continent to claim for compensation if their flights are delayed or canceled. The decision has its roots in a case brought forward by German passenger Claudia Wegener.
A ruling made by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) means that travelers who face delayed or canceled connecting flights outside of the continent may now make a claim for compensation, the Independent reports.
The landmark ruling has its roots in a case brought forth by German passenger Claudia Wegener, who was scheduled to fly from Germany to Agadir via Casablanca with Royal Air Maroc. Because of a delay at Casablanca, Wegener was not permitted to complete the Agadir-bound leg of her trip.
She was forced to take a different Royal Air Maroc flight and arrived into Agadir four hours later than her original arrival time.
According to the statement by the court, “Ms Wegener subsequently applied for compensation for that delay. However, Royal Air Maroc refused her application on the ground that she was not entitled to claim compensation under the EU regulation on air passenger rights.”
The outlet reports that Royal Air Maroc “rejected Ms Wegener’s claim, saying the change in aircraft for the connecting flight signaled a separate journey, and as it began outside the EU and was on a non-European airline no compensation was payable.”
Wegener initially filed her appeal claim in a Berlin court, but the case was referred onward to the jurisdiction of the ECJ. It was eventually decided that, despite Wegener’s change in craft at Casablanca, a connecting flight would not disqualify her right to claim compensation.
Wegener, reports the outlet, is now able to claim €400 ($471) in compensation. According to European legislation, depending on the distance, passengers can claim between €250 ($294) and €600 ($706) if a flight arrives at its final destination more than three hours late. Additionally, this ruling also entitles travelers to file for retrospective compensation claims.
Praising the ruling, Coby Benson, flight delay solicitor at Bott and Co, commented, “This judgment will ensure that passengers on connecting flights will now have the same high level of protection as passengers who chose to fly directly to their destination.”