Before the upcoming summer holidays the European Commission has adopted new guidelines on the air passenger rights, which guidelines are supposed to fill in the existing gaps and facilitate better enforcement of these rights (Commission wants better enforcement of rules ahead of summer holidays). Since the new air passenger regulation has not yet been finalized, these guidelines are clearly meant to provide another temporary fix, reconciling often far-reaching in its interpretation of Regulation No 261/2004 judgments of the CJEU and its provisions.
Personally, I'm particularly happy with the clarification (repetition) of the rules on the compensation due to passengers who might have had a slight delay, but as a result missed their connecting flight and are significantly delayed in reaching their final destination. I know firsthand that airlines keep on claiming that since the original delay was less than 3 hours, the compensation is not due, especially if the connecting place was outside the EU and the carrier is a non-EU carrier. Point vii of the Guidelines clearly states:
"In accordance with Article 3(1)(a), passengers who missed a connection within the EU, or outside the EU with a flight coming from an airport situated in the territory of a Member State, should be entitled to compensation, if they arrived at final destination with a delay of more than three hours. Whether the carrier operating the connecting flights is an EU carrier or a non-EU carrier is not relevant."
Find more clarifications here.