In a recent battle, the European Court of Justice has declared that travellers might forfeit compensation entitlements if they are not present for delayed flights. This amendment underscores the importance of passengers being punctual and present during the boarding process, as failure to do so may result in the loss of compensation benefits.  

This ruling was implemented in January of this year by the ECJ under the EU regulation 261 under air passenger rights, officially stating a passenger’s rights to compensation in the case of delayed flights. 

The revised policy emphasises the critical role of punctuality when it comes to claiming compensation for delayed flights. Passengers who are not present during the boarding process may find themselves unable to claim compensation, reinforcing the importance of timely check-ins and adherence to boarding procedures, regardless of if the flight was delayed. 

Following this update, airlines and travel businesses are urged to communicate this policy update clearly to travellers through various channels, including notifications, announcements, and signage. It is crucial for travellers to be aware of these changes to avoid any inadvertent forfeiture of compensation rights due to lack of awareness. 

To navigate these changes effectively, passengers should familiarise themselves with specific boarding timeframes and regulations implemented by airlines, or be encouraged to consult their PTS travel agent member to make sure they are prepared for all issues. Being informed about boarding procedures and adhering to the prescribed timelines will help travellers preserve their compensation rights in the event of delayed flights. 

The changes originally came as a result of several reported cases of travellers showing up late for their delayed flights such as an issue in January between Ryanair subsidiary Laudamotion and claims-handler Flightright. 

After their flight was delayed by over 3 hours, two passengers failed to arrive on time for their delayed flights and made claims for compensation that they were later denied in court. ECJ stated during this case that, “Passengers whose flight is delayed cannot be exempted from the obligation to present themselves or check-in.” UK regulations could potentially change to follow this ruling in future. 

This policy amendment aims to strike a balance between passenger entitlements and the operational efficiency of airlines. While compensation for flight delays remains a standard practice, travellers are now reminded of the importance of timely boarding to safeguard their rights and avoid unintended forfeitures. 

The onus is on passengers to prioritise punctuality and adhere to boarding requirements. However, with such a significant change taking place in the airline sector, it is equally important for travel businesses that converse directly with the travellers to keep them informed that their rights may have changed if they are visiting the EU. 

So, if you would like to learn about how your consumers’ monies are protected with Protected Trust Services (PTS) and how we support excellent travel businesses, check out our pages. Or you can contact the lovely PTS team by calling 0207 190 9988 or emailing us at 

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