Customers delayed by more than three hours will get the same rights to compensation as those whose flights are cancelled following a ruling by the European Court of Justice.

They can ask for compensation of between 250 euros (£206) and 600 euros (£499) on journeys starting or ending in the EU if their flight is severely delayed.

The court ruled payment would not be due in exceptional circumstances, including bad weather or industrial action, but that did not extend to aircraft mechanical problems.

The decision will unfreeze a backlog of claims dating from 2009.