FURIOUS airlines were yesterday told they must pay passengers up to £480 compensation each for delayed flights.
An EU judge said the firms should fork out when customers are left waiting for over three hours. Advocate General Yves Bot rejected a joint challenge from British Airways, easyJet and Thomson Holidays owner TUI. His landmark ruling is aimed at settling a legal row over a regulation introduced in 2004.
Experts said it could force airlines to shell out £1BILLION a year in compensation.
Payouts for delayed inter-EU flights of 930 miles or less will be £199. Passengers delayed on inter-EU flights of 930 to 1,860 miles can expect £320.
All other delayed flights will set airlines back a whopping £480 per passenger.
Consumer watchdogs last night said Brits should be celebrating. Bob Atkinson, of Travelsupermarket, told The Sun: "Now you know you're entitled to compensation for a delay, just as you would be if a flight is cancelled."
The ruling has to be rubber stamped by the European Court. But already a new website called Flight-Delayed.co.uk, which offers to submit compo claims for Brits, has been launched.
BA said: "We are aware of today's non-binding opinion by the Advocate General and we await the final ruling."
Source: The Sun