A recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union has determined that passengers who decide not to take a delayed flight operated by the airline Laudamotion, on behalf of its parent company Ryanair, are not entitled to fixed compensation. This ruling is based on two cases, C-474/22 and C-54/23.
The Court has specified that passengers who choose not to present themselves for boarding a flight that arrives with a long delay, or who purchase a ticket for an alternative flight and arrive at the destination with a delay of less than three hours, do not qualify for fixed compensation.
The cases in question were related to a delay of more than three hours for two flights from Düsseldorf to Palma de Mallorca by Laudamotion. Following the delay announcement, two passengers opted not to take their flights due to concerns about missing a business meeting.
One of the passengers experienced a delay of 3 hours and 32 minutes, while the other booked an alternative flight and arrived at the destination with a delay of less than three hours. Both passengers sought compensation from Laudamotion under the Air Passenger Rights Regulation, claiming €250 for the delay.
The German Federal Court of Justice sought clarification from the Court of Justice of the EU on whether a passenger can still claim compensation when a flight is likely to be delayed by at least three hours and the passenger either didn’t check in or independently booked an alternative flight, arriving at the destination with a delay of less than three hours.
According to the Court of Justice, neither of those situations grants a right to fixed compensation, due to the irreversible loss of time experienced by passengers facing a delay of three hours or more. The Rights Regulation aims to address the ‘serious trouble and inconvenience’ suffered by passengers in the context of a flight.
In conclusion, the recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the EU serves as a reminder to passengers of the limitations surrounding fixed compensation for flight delays. While it may be frustrating for travelers, the decision emphasizes the importance of understanding the intricacies of air passenger rights and regulations.
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