Pay-up, court orders Ryanair

WAITIN TIME: Ryanair must pay after delay

LOW-COST airline Ryanair has been ordered to pay two passengers delayed for four hours in Spain €250 each compensation.
A judge made the award after hearing the passengers had to wait more four hours at Valencia airport before they could board their flight to Bergamo (Italy) in December 2009.
They later complained to AVACU, a Valencia consumer group, who applied for compensation on their behalf.
AVECU said the delay was unjustified and claimed that if a flight to a destination more than 1,500kms away is delayed by more than three hours, passengers are legally entitled to compensation of €250 each.
The delay was caused by technical circumstances beyond Ryanair’s control, the company said, and argued that passengers were not entitled to any kind of compensation under European regulations.
The judge at a court in Sueca, Valencia, cited the precedent set by an EU Court of Justice ruling from November 2009, equating flights delayed by more than three hours with cancelled flights. This entitles passengers to compensation under EU legislation passed in 2004 if an airline cannot demonstrate that a long delay is caused by unavoidable and “extraordinary” circumstances.
The concept of “extraordinary circumstances” does not apply to a technical problem in an aircraft ruled the Sueca court.

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