Monarch has come under fire for failing to pay compensation after passengers were delayed for eight hours at Gatwick.

Holidaymakers waited on the aircraft at the gate for three and a half hours before being told there was a technical fault with the plane.

They were then allowed back into the terminal, but did not take off until eight hours after the flight was due to leave.

Passengers also claimed the airline failed in its duty of care by failing to provide vouchers for food until more than four hours after the flight was due to depart.

Monarch said it would not pay compensation because the delay was due to an unforeseen technical fault that constitutes ‘extraordinary circumstances’ as defined by the European Commission.

The Civil Aviation Authority, which recently published guidelines on delay compensation, will now investigate whether the fault did constitute ‘extraordinary circumstances’.