Passengers who are stranded by severe bad weather - including volcanic ash - are entitled to claim compensation from their airline, the European Court of Justice has ruled.
Ryanair’s argument that the ash cloud which grounded thousands of flights between April 15 and 22 should be treated as an extraordinary event was dismissed by the court.
This was the second major EU court ruling in favour of passengers in a matter of months. In October it decreed that they were entitled to substantial compensation when their flights were delayed by more than three hours because of mechanical difficulties.
The test case was brought by Denise McDonagh, who was due to fly with Ryanair from Faro to Dublin fell victim to the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland.
Her claim for compensation worth £968 covering meals, accommodation and transport following the cancellation of the flight was upheld by the court.
The appeal, which was brought by the no-frills airline was being watched closely by the rest of the industry, which argued that airlines obligation to provide care for delayed flights should be set aside following events as dramatic as the volcanic eruption which saw flights across Europe grounded for a week.
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