(CN) - The European Court of Justice ruled today that airlines in the European Union must pay 600 euros to passengers whose flights are delayed three or more hours, the same amount as if their flight had been cancelled.
Prior to today's ruling airlines were not obliged to pay compensation if passengers chose not to fly at a later time, or if the airline could show the delay was caused by extraordinary circumstances. The ruling held that technical problems are not in themselves extraordinary circumstances unless they are not problems that normally occur within the normal operations of an airline.
The court's ruling came in two cases involving Air France SA and Germany's Condor Flugdienst GmbH, where passengers' flights were delayed over 22 hours.
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