Emirates has been told to pay passengers compensation if they miss connections at airports outside the EU.
The Supreme Court today refused the airline the right to appeal a decision, which stated that they must pay compensation to customers who missed a connecting flight outside the EU and were delayed by more than three hours.
It means the airline could be forced to pay millions of pounds worth in compensation.
Emirates was fighting a Court of Appeal decision in a case brought by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) against the airline and four others.
Four of the airlines moved into compliance following the CAA’s action, however Emirates sought leave to appeal.
The Supreme Court said in its decision that the appeal didn’t raise an arguable point of law because the Court of Justice of the European Union had already given a clear answer.
Chief executive of the UK CAA, Andrew Haines, said: ‘It [Emirates] has failed in its attempts to overturn the Court of Appeal Judgement, which now means that millions of pounds worth of compensation is due to its customers. It is time for Emirates to pay what is owed.’
What that means for claims
The decision means passengers of non-EU airlines who are delayed in the first leg of their flight, causing them to miss a connecting flight and arrive at their final destination more than three hours late, can claim up to €600.
It doesn’t matter if their final destination is outside the EU. But this rule only applies to non-EU airlines when they’re departing the EU – not flying into it.
For example, if your return flight from Beijing to Heathrow is delayed, you’re not entitled to anything unless you’re flying with an EU airline.
You rights to flight delay compensation
Passengers flying long-haul are entitled to up to €300 in compensation if their plane is between three and four hours late or €600 if the flight arrives behind schedule by more than four hours.
Shorter delays of three hours or more experienced by short-haul passengers could claim up to €250 in compensation.
If you’ve had a delayed flight, we can help you start a claim to request compensation from the airline for free.
The original claim
Thea Gahan was scheduled to fly with Emirates from Manchester Bangkok, via Dubai.
But her flight from Manchester was delayed just less than four hours, resulting in Miss Gahan missing her connecting flight to Bangkok.
She then had to get a different flight, which meant she arrived at Bangkok almost 14 hours later than scheduled.
Miss Gahan sought compensation on the basis that she had arrived at her final destination with a delay in excess of four hours. She would normally be entitled to €600 compensation.
But Emirates denied her claim, arguing that because both locations are outside the EU they didn’t have any liability for the second leg.