Air passengers who face delay or disruption will have an easier job getting compensation after MEPs voted to toughen European laws today.
New rules mean passengers will be entitled to £250 compensation after three hours delay, and will be given the right to disembark after a maximum of three hours waiting on the runway.
Airlines will no longer be able to avoid paying compensation by claiming 'extraordinary circumstances beyond their control' for simple mechanical failure. And where an airline fails to respond to a complaint in full within two months, the passenger will automatically be due compensation.
South East Euro MP Catherine Bearder said:
"We have voted to close some of the loopholes that have given airlines an easy ride for too long. These new measures clarify passengers' rights and set out very clearly what people can expect in terms of compensation if their flights are delayed. Airlines will no longer be able to dodge responsibility as easily as they have in the past."
MEPs also voted to tackle the uncertainty around hand luggage rules which currently leave many flyers facing unexpected additional charges.
"The confusion over hand baggage allowances that currently plagues our airports will also thankfully be brought to an end. Each passenger will be allowed one handbag, one coat, one bag of duty-free goods and one item of carry-on luggage."