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Published on Wednesday, April 24, 2013

CAA secures thousands in compensation for delayed passengers

The Civil Aviation Authority has secured €95,700 compensation for UK passengers hit by airline delays in the six months since a European Court ruled that carriers must cough up.

In October 2012, the Court of Justice ruled against TUI Travel and a group of airlines who had tried to argue that they didn't have to compensate passengers for delays of three hours or more.

The Court sided with the CAA which said airlines must pay passengers who suffered long delays the same compensation they would have been entitled to if their flight had been cancelled, in line with EC regulations.

As the UK's enforcement body, the CAA provides a free mediation service to any passenger having trouble resolving complaints against airlines or airports.

Before contacting the CAA, passengers should contact the airline first, to give them an opportunity to consider their claim.

Passengers can find out how to contact the CAA's Passenger Advice and Complaints Team here:

The CAA said it was still dealing with a backlog of claims as a result of the judgement, and may take more time to assess the situation and respond to passengers than usual.

Since the judgement, the CAA has received over 5,800 claims from passengers who have approached their airlines 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," said the CAA.

Iain Osborne, CAA director of regulatory policy 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 European Union is separately reviewing provision of assistance and compensation to passengers under the EC Regulation 261/2004 rules.

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