Personal Finance

Martin Lewis' £520 alert for anyone who's been on EU flight in last six years

Martin Lewis has issued a stark warning to anyone who’s taken an EU flight in the “past six years”, flagging up a potential £520 risk.

The money-saving guru explored passenger rights in relation to delays or cancellations on European Union flights during his latest BBC Sounds podcast episode.

In conversation with co-host Nihal, Mr Lewis painted a hypothetical picture: “So, Nihal arrived at the airport two hours 45 [minutes] late. I should say to British Airways, this is a fictional story. It’s not your fault.

“Don’t worry too much. He arrived at the airport two hours 45 late, but due to the scheduled change of arrival, there was no landing spot.”

He went on to explain: “So they were sat on the plane for another half an hour. Now the rule under the fixed compensation for all EU flights, including British flights, is if it’s delayed over three hours, provided it’s the airline’s fault, which we’ll assume it is here, do you get the compensation? So Nihal, in this case, do you get the compensation?”

Mr Lewis then clarified: “Yes, as you got off the plane after three hours. No, as it landed two hours 45 late, and the delay was the airport’s, not the airline’s fault.

“Yes, but only if you took off three hours late, as well as landing two hours 45 late. So you see, the question is all, what is the three hours? Is it yes, the three hours is when you got off the plane?”

Money Saving Expert has provided crucial advice on flight compensation, reports Belfast Live.

Addressing Nihal, he explained: “A is the simple, yeah, you got off the plane after three hours late.”

To which Nihal responded: “So I get the compensation.”

Affirming the point, Mr Lewis said: “So you get the compensation. C is you get the compensation, even though the plane landed two hours 45 late, because it took off after three hours late. And B is no, because when it landed, it was only two hours 45 late, and the remainder was not the airline’s fault.”

Mr Lewis elaborated on the nuances of the rules, stating: “Now there is a little bit of wriggle room in, in what portion of the airline’s fault. I think that you would have, the most important criteria here is the timing is how late the doors of the plane open. So you got it wrong.

“So as you got off the plane over three hours late, you are entitled to the fixed compensation. Now the airline’s fault argument is pretty plain that because the two hours 45 was late, it is very easy to argue.”

He concluded with a critical point about airline responsibility: “That’s why it’s the airline’s fault that they arrived two hours 45 late and then the airport wasn’t prepared for them to land.

“That’s still the airline’s fault because if the airline hadn’t been late, the airport would have been prepared for them to late and the doors open late. But there could be, the airline could try and argue it wasn’t its fault because of the remaining 15 minutes, but I think they’d generally be given short shift by all the courts.”

He elaborated: “You got that wrong. Let’s quickly just do a quick summary of flight delay compensation. This applies to any EU flight, which is any flight leaving a UK or EU airport or any flight arriving at a UK or EU airport, but then it has to be a UK or EU airline.

“So American Airlines going to the States from London counts. American Airlines returning to London from the States does not count because it’s not an EU airline. You can go back six years.

“So if you’ve had a delay in any time in the last six years, you can go back six years to apply for this compensation. Remember, it has to be the airline’s fault. Five years in Scotland.

“The amount that you get is fixed. So an up to 1500 kilometres and you arrive three hours late is £220. 1500 to 3500 kilometres and you arrive three hours late is £250, fixed per person. Three and a half thousand kilometres or more. If you arrive three to four hours late, it’s £260. If you arrive over four hours late, it’s £520.”


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.