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Are you entitled to compensation when your flight has been delayed?

At present in Australia, passengers are not entitled to compensation when a flight has been delayed however, a European Court of Justice recently made a ruling that travellers are entitled to monetary compensation from their respective airline for lengthy delays of three or more hours, except in the case of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ including natural disasters.

This landmark decision has now opened the floodgates in Europe, and possibly Australia for thousands of claims against airlines which could end up costing millions.

Claims earmarked by the Court of Justice included general airline failures, such as technical faults or a lack of flight crew, airport failures including access and onboard issues. Airlines will still be able to deny payouts where delays are outside their control, such as during bad weather or strikes.

Given the contractual nature of service provided by the airlines to customers, it is logical that when providing a duty of care to the airline customers, any breach of this duty would normally result in a form of compensation.

In Australia, accordingly, surveys found passengers flying on Jetstar over the recent Christmas period were the most likely to be late, while Qantas passengers were most likely to have their planes cancelled.

In Europe, a cap has been imposed of £480 for the compensation ($730 Australia Dollars).

If you believe that you have a genuine claim for compensation, please contact 1800 621 071 or email


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Charles Lethbridge

Charles Lethbridge

  • Senior Associate
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Direct line: 07 5506 8240
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