Who is entitled to compensation for delayed flights?
The Regulation EU 261/ 2004 provides compensation (fees may apply) and assistance for passengers if their flight:
Departs from an EU airport
Arrives at an EU airport from outside the EU but with an EU carrier
Is cancelled or arrives at least 3 hours late or more
What am I entitled to if my flight is delayed?
Long delays of 2+ hours to your flight (depending on the distance of the flight) = free meals and refreshments + 2 free telephone calls & emails.
Long delay of 5+ hours = full refund of the ticket within 7 days
Delay of departure until next day = hotel accommodation & transportation costs covered by the airline
Note: If your airline does’t offer this assistance, make sure that you keep your spending costs low and keep the receipts. You can claim a reimbursement from the airline when you return home.
Can I get a full refund if my flight is cancelled?
Under EU regulation you are entitled to:
A full refund of the cost of the ticket within 7 days (fees may apply)
A substitute flight to your destination from another airport (additional travel costs will be covered by the airline)
A replacement flight outside the strike duration (usually limited to a 12-month period)
Can I claim compensation if I am affected by a strike?
This depends on whether the airline is legally obliged to provide compensation if the flight is affected due to reasons beyond their control e.g volcanic eruption, a strike, extreme weather.
Depending on who is striking you may be able to claim up to £530 in compensation from your airline.
Example policies of airlines:
You may be eligible to claim monetary compensation if your flight was delayed more than 3 hours on arrival or cancelled within 14 days of departure. If the delay or cancellation was unexpected and therefore outside of our control (extraordinary circumstances) no monetary compensation is due under EU Regulation 261/2004.
Delays of more than 3 hours = they provide you with refreshment vouchers
If you’re delayed overnight they’ll find a hotel for you and provide transfers and make sure your meals are covered
If your flight is cancelled we’ll get you onto the next available flight or if you’d prefer we’ll give you a full refund
When the delay is their fault they’ll also pay you EC261 compensation to cover additional expenses such as car parking or ongoing travel. If the cause is beyond their control then you won’t be entitled to this additional compensation but you should check with your travel insurer to confirm they will cover these costs.
Thomson Major changes to your holiday for which they will pay compensation unless the change is for reasons beyond their control If the delay or cancellation was unexpected and therefore outside of our control (extraordinary circumstances) no monetary compensation is due under EU Regulation 261/2004.
What steps do I take to claim compensation for delayed flights?
Use an adjudicator or regulator to take the claim further: If the airline rejects your claim don’t worry you can take it further through a regulator or an adjudicator.
Take the claim to court: If the airline still reject your claim or you are unhappy with the outcome of your claim then you can take them to court. The court may refuse claims if they date back more than 6 years in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (five years in Scotland) so be sure to keep this in mind.
Will my travel insurance cover any additional costs?
In some cases the airline may reject your claim for compensation for delayed flights, in which case your insurer may be able to help! Check the terms and conditions of your policy to see what situations it will cover. You may also receive payment to cover hotel costs or alternative transport you require; the airlines should provide this by law, however, as previously stated.
I hope you found this article useful. If you have any other tips on how to get compensation for delayed flights, please leave a comment.
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