EU Compensation – bowing to the airline lobby the EU reduces passenger payments

The EU has today proposed making substantial changes to the rights of passengers whose flights are delayed or cancelled. The airlines have been howling about the old rules for some time, and Ryanair even imposes a surcharge on every ticket in order to pay for compensation.

  • Financial compensation to be triggered after a minimum five-hour delay
    (currently stands at three) on any flight within the EU or international flight
    shorter than 3,500kms
  • For longer international flights, compensation will be due after a delay of
    nine hours up to 6,000km and after 12 hours for longer journeys
  • Airlines will also be required to inform passengers about delays and provide
    an explanation no later than 30 minutes after the scheduled departure time
  • If you are stuck on the tarmac for 5 hours you will have a right to demand to get off
  • Carriers can no long charge for errors with names on tickets
  • The ‘Exceptional Circumstance’ clause, which has enabled airlines to wriggle out of the payments in the past, is clarified to indicate that mechanical failure is not ‘Exceptional’, but that air traffic control disputes and natural disasters are ‘exceptional’. After the Ash Cloud airlines were forced to pay up – this is no longer the case.
  • Airlines liability will be limited to three nights accommodation, except for people with disabilities, pregnant women and unaccompanied children

This only applies to EU based airlines.

But for the first time airlines will be required to re-book passengers on the services of their rivals if the delay is more than 12 hours.

Some of the changes are good, but we’ll be stuck in an airport lounge much longer now before the airline buys us a cup of tea.




  1. Some interesting elements to the change are that “misspellings” on tickets will be correctable for free up to 48 hours before flight and that no-showing for a segment won’t be allowable grounds to invalidate the remaining/return portion of the ticket.

  2. The airlines should fund a kiosk at the airport where pax who are effected by delays, cancellations etc… could get assistance as to what their rights are. Many airlines simply brush you aside and have you contact their call centre for assistance.

  3. that is why I avoid traveling on a EU based airline.
    Another reason which no one writes about is the amount of settlement one’s family would receive in a case of death when the airline is at fault. It’s a lot less than in the US. I had read that France values a life at something like 35,000euros.

  4. They are living in a cuckoo land.
    The Gulf carriers that have no such requirements, can route people through the Gulf for less, with less winter weather delays.
    In 10-20 yrs, the 3 major gulf carriers would have bankrupted the EU carriers by lower cost connections with less regulations

  5. Thanks. How do you submit a claim?
    I got stuck in Frankfurt for 16hrs a few months ago but didn’t know of this. Thanks in advance for your help

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