EU extends protections for airline passengers
The European Union has extended its protection for airline passengers to cover delays or cancellations on connecting flights that operate outside the EU.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled last week that EU airlines selling tickets to destinations beyond the EU must offer compensation to passengers if their connecting flight is delayed by more than three hours or cancelled, even if the delay is caused by another airline. Passengers can receive up to €600 ($700) in compensation.
Until last week this protection applied to flights departing or arriving in Europe. But a landmark case has extended the legislation to cover connecting flights on partner airlines or codeshare flights outside the EU, even if the airline operating the second leg of the journey is a non-EU based carrier.
The ruling resulted from a case in which 11 passengers booked a flight to Bangkok from Prague via Abu Dhabi with Czech Airlines. The first leg of the flight, operated by Czech Airlines, arrived in Abu Dhabi on time but the connecting flight, operated by Etihad Airways, was delayed by eight hours and eight minutes. The ECJ ruled that Czech Airlines must compensate the passengers because they were the ones who sold the tickets.