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Landmark British court ruling on passenger compensation

Published on Feb 1, 2013 6:21 AM

LONDON (AFP) - Passengers in Britain delayed for more than three hours because of a fault by the airline will be able to claim compensation following a landmark court ruling, aviation authorities said on Thursday.

A court in Stoke-on-Trent in central England created a legal precedent that could open the floodgates for claims when it ordered airline Thomas Cook to pay a couple 680 pounds (S$1,324) for a 22-hour delay on a flight from Spain.

The court rejected the airline's argument that teacher Jeff Halsall and his wife Joyce were delayed on their return from the island of Tenerife to Britain in 2009 because of "exceptional circumstances" beyond its control.

The ruling on Monday was made possible because of a European Court Judgement in October, and many more passengers could now follow the Halsalls' lead.

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