Landmark ruling could mean payouts for flight delays over three hours

Landmark ruling could mean payouts for flight delays over three hours

Travellers who have their holidays ruined by long flight delays will finally be able to claim compensation after a landmark ruling opened the floodgates for thousands of claims.

The Daily Mail reports that the ruling, which could cost airlines millions, demonstrated that Britons have the right to compensation of up to £480, plus expenses, for delays longer than three hours.

The news comes after a holidaymaker was handed £680 in compensation after a 22-hour flight delay.

According to The Sun, Jeff Halsall, 58, and his wife Joyce, 57, were hit with the long wait when their flight home from Tenerife in 2009 was hit with a mechanical fault.

Thomas Cook denied the compensation, citing 'exceptional circumstances' but Halsall used new laws allowing claims of up to £480 for flight delays over three hours in EU countries since 2005, if the airline is at fault.

The couple were awarded £680 to cover both their flights and ex-teacher Jeff, of Staffordshire, said: 'Everyone is entitled to this. All they need to do is write to their airline.'

Historically, airlines have argued against claims by saying that technical problems should be classed as exceptional, but the decision will ensure travellers are treated more fairly in the future.

Airlines will still be able to deny payouts where delays are outside their control, such as during bad weather and strikes, but in theory passengers can now claim compensation for flight delays dating back to 2005.

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