News of: Wednesday, February 16 2005,

Compensation flight delays and overbookings in European Union

Air passengers who are unable to board because of overbooking or flight cancellation will be entitled to more compensation from tomorrow.

New EU rules set compensation at between 250 and 600 euros, depending on the length of the flight.

The new rules will apply to all flights, including budget airlines. This also includes flights that depart from EU airports, carried out by non-EU airlines.

Compensation will not have to be offered if flights are cancelled as a result of bad weather, security alerts or strikes.

The new rules are i.a. intended to discourage the practice of overbooking flights.

Some airlines have already complained about the new regulation, stating in some cases the compensation is higher than the ticket price. They have appealed with the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg to challenge the regulation.