While the letter of EC261/2004 doesn't require compensation for delayed flights, the EUCJ found in 2009 ruled that passengers delayed for three hours or more may also receive compensation. However, they also ruled that since a 3–4 hour delay of the original flight was the same, as far as the passengers' time was concerned, as a 3–4 hour delay due to re-routing, then the "re-routing" clause should by all rights be applicable to a 3–4 hour flight delay.
61 In those circumstances, the Court finds that passengers whose flights are delayed may rely on the right to compensation laid down in Article 7 of Regulation No 261/2004 where they suffer, on account of such flights, a loss of time equal to or in excess of three hours, that is to say when they reach their final destination three hours or more after the arrival time originally scheduled by the air carrier.
63 It is important to point out that the compensation payable to a passenger under Article 7(1) of Regulation No 261/2004 may be reduced by 50% if the conditions laid down in Article 7(2) of the regulation are met. Even though the latter provision refers only to the case of re-routing of passengers, the Court finds that the reduction in the compensation provided for is dependent solely on the delay to which passengers are subject, so that nothing precludes the application mutatis mutandis of that provision to compensation paid to passengers whose flights are delayed. It follows that the compensation payable to a passenger whose flight is delayed, who reaches his final destination three hours or more after the arrival time originally scheduled, may be reduced by 50%, in accordance with Article 7(2)(c) of Regulation No 261/2004, where the delay is – in the case of a flight not falling under points (a) or (b) of Article 7(2) – less than four hours.