A landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice announced this week that a German passenger delayed on a connecting flight in Morocco should qualify for a 400 euro compensation payment.
This ruling is based on the complaint made by Claudia Wegener, who was due to fly from Berlin with Royal Air Maroc via Casablanca to Agadir. She was delayed at Casablanca and arrived four hours late.
Air passengers in the European Union have rights that stipulate compensation of between 250 euros and 600 euros, depending on distance, if a flight is over three hours late arriving at the destination.
In this case, the airline rejected Ms Wegener’s claim for compensation, and said that the change in aircraft for the connecting flight represented a separate journey, and as it began outside the EU and was on a non-European airline, no compensation would be paid.
Airlines have claimed that this is another blow and feel the rules are unfairly slanted in favour of passengers, because this new ruling opens up retrospective claims for flights up to six years ago.
This decision is legally binding throughout Europe and sets a new precedent. The European Court of Justice has enhanced the rights of air passengers to cover those on connecting flights, who will now have the same high level of protection as passengers flying direct to their destination.
For UK air passengers, this ruling could cover flights via Gulf hubs, such as Abu Dhabi, Doha and Dubai, and connections in North America. However, this only covers EU citizens and would not apply to UK residents after Brexit.
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