The Straits Times
Published on Oct 04, 2012

Airlines must compensate travellers affected by strikes : EU court


BRUSSELS (REUTERS) - Airlines cannot use strikes as an excuse not to pay compensation to travellers they bump off flights, Europe's highest court said on Thursday, widening the scope of passenger rights in the European Union.

Judges at the Luxembourg-based EU Court of Justice said compensation should be extended to passengers affected by unforeseen events beyond the usual causes such as overbooking, long delays and cancellations.

"An air carrier must compensate passengers when they have been denied boarding because their flight was rescheduled as a result of a strike at the airport two days beforehand," the court said in a statement.

Under EU rules, travellers on flights starting or ending in the European Union are entitled to up to 600 euros (S$957) for being bumped off. Until now, strikes had not been considered grounds for compensation.