The European Parliament voted on the plans for a new Regulation. The outcome is in favor of passengers, as the European Parliament does not want to change the Regulation in favor of airlines.
The rights of air passengers that experienced a delayed or cancelled flight are stated in the EU Regulation 261/2004 since 2004. When your flight is delayed more than 3 hours or when your flight is cancelled, you are entitled to financial compensation.
The amount of compensation is based on the distance of your flight. Only when there are extraordinary circumstances involved, for example bad weather conditions or Air Traffic Control strikes, the airline is not obliged to pay the financial compensation. However, airlines only sporadically follow the EU rules. They often use the term ‘extraordinary circumstance’ as an excuse to not have to pay the compensation a passenger is entitled to.
The European Parliament wants to hold airlines liable for their actions and wants them to stop using ‘extraordinary circumstances’ as an excuse. The Parliament’s point of view became clear during the vote on the 17th of December. The downside is that the European Parliament wants to increase the number of hours that a flight must be delayed before passengers are entitled to compensation. This is obviously not beneficial to passengers.
The next vote is planned on February 4, 2014. However, we predict there will not be any changes in the Regulation before 2015. We will therefore continue to put all our efforts in compensating passengers for their flight delays in 2014!