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More than one million passengers who endured tortuous delays after missing their connecting flight could be in line for compensation after a crushing legal blow against the airline industry.
For years non-EU carriers Emirates, American Airlines, Etihad, Singapore Airlines and Turkish Airlines have wriggled out of paying claims for delayed flights by exploiting a loophole in EU law.
Legislation - Passenger - Flight - £540 - Euros
The legislation entitles each passenger whose flight is delayed to up to £540 (600 euros) compensation.
It applies to all flights from the EU, as well as flights into EU airports on an EU-based airline, such as British Airways or easyJet.
EU - Airlines - Haul - Journeys - Flights
But several non EU airlines have been treating long haul, connecting journeys as two flights instead of one.
They have insisted that the EC 261/2004 legislation does not cover connecting flights which depart from outside the EU.
Tactic - Claims - Passengers - Hours - Destination
This tactic has been used to reject claims from passengers who have arrived many hours late at their final destination after a delay on the first leg of their journey caused them to miss their connecting flight from a non EU airport.
Among those cheated out of compensation have been holidaymakers travelling from the UK to long haul destinations via airports including Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Singapore.
Yesterday - Airlines - Bruising - Defeat - Court
Yesterday these airlines suffered a bruising defeat as the Court of Appeal ruled against Emirates and concluded it is legally obliged to pay out in these situations.
It agreed with the Court of Justice of the EU that liability for compensation depends on the delay in arriving at the ‘final destination’.
Ruling - Floodgates - Claims - Airlines - Hook
The ruling could open the floodgates to claims against these non-EU airlines, leaving them on the hook for hundreds of millions of pounds in compensation to passengers.
The Civil Aviation Authority has estimated the ruling could benefit as many as 200,000 passengers a year who arrive at their final destination more than three hours late after missing...
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