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Flight delayed? Make a claim

AS we are building up for one of the busiest times for holiday travel, it is worth remembering that if you are on a flight that arrives at least three hours late there could be money waiting for you to claim.

  Not only that but if you have been delayed any time in the last six years there’s money to be collected.

  I know from personal experience that this works because I have recently received £1,120 fromThomas Cook Airlines for a delayed trip to Tunisia three years ago.

  You may be able to claim compensation of between £200 and £480 for each person affected thanks to a European Directive and two recent High Court judgements.

  Compensation for delayed flights can be on a sliding scale, depending on distance and length of delay

  First, the High Court has decided unanimously that airlines could no longer use technical issues as an excuse for not paying compensation.

  The European Directive, which makes the compensation rules, gives airlines a get out clause for what it calls 'exceptional circumstances'.

  And many airlines have been claiming technical issues with their aeroplanes exceptional circumstances  and refusing to pay compensation for the delays they cause.

  But in a clear and unanimous judgment the Court of Appeal decided in a case again budget airline Jet2 that technical issues were part and parcel of running an airline and that the delays they caused could in no sense be 'exceptional'.

  The judgement has released thousands of claims which have been held pending the court case and many travellers have already received thousands back in compensation.

   But the Court of Appeal decided unanimously that local UK law prevailed and claims could go back for six years (in Scotland the period is five years).

  If you're travelling with an airline based in the EU or with a non-EU based airline flying from an EU airport, then you're protected by the Denied Boarding Regulation.

  The regulation states that the airline has an obligation to offer you assistance if your flight delay is expected to go beyond a certain point.

  If you're travelling with a non-EU based airline flying from a non-EU destination, the airline doesn't have the same duty to look after you. Check the airline's Condition of Carriage to see what compensation you are entitled to.