The European Union’s top court has ruled that passengers in Europe are entitled to compensation if their flights are brought forward by more than an hour.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) stated that a flight must be regarded as cancelled if the air carrier brings it forward by more than an hour.

It recognised that such scenarios “may result in serious inconvenience for passengers, in the same way as a delay” as passengers may have to adapt their plans significantly or even miss the flight due to the change in departure time.

EU rules stipulate that passengers can claim compensation if their flights are cancelled less than 14 days before departure, arrive more than three hours late or if they are denied boarding due to overbooking.

In such cases, air carriers are required to pay compensation of €250-€600 depending on the distance of the flight, with a 50 per cent reduction if the airline offers re-routing so that the passenger can arrive without delay at their final destination.

The compensation in the case of flights brought forward by more than an hour will be the same amount as that due for a cancellation or delay, though there will be no right to reduce the amount by 50 per cent as above.

The case was brought to the CJEU from courts in Austria and Germany regarding flights operated by Azurair, Corendon Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Eurowings and Laudamotion.

For more details, see the court judgement here.