Flights get delayed more often than you think and it could get frustrating, especially when it messes with your itinerary. However, the EU regulations on delayed flights protect passengers in situations like this where they face a flight disruption. This regulation ensures affected flight passengers get compensated properly for any inconvenience when delayed
What is the EU Regulation 261/2004?
The EU regulation 261/2004 was created to protect passengers against flight disruptions and it applies to passengers who suffer delayed or cancelled flights, overbooking, or denied boarding. If your flight is delayed, you may be entitled to some form of compensation, provided you meet the eligibility criteria.
The EU Regulation 261/2004 applies to you if you:
- Start your trip at an EU airport, or land in an EU airport, with the airline headquartered in the EU.
- Have a valid booking ticket.
- Checked in at least 45 minutes to the original departure time.
You may be entitled to the following under the law:
- Compensation of between €250 and €600 per person, depending on the flight distance.
- Assistance and access to basic services, such as free drinks and food, and telephone calls, emails, or faxes.
- The right to request a seat on another flight or withdraw from the scheduled flight if the delay lasts longer than 5 hours or is eventually cancelled.
- The right to be informed of your rights as an air passenger and of any flight delays or cancellations that may occur.
How the flight distance is calculated
- Short distance – Below 1500km (e.g. London – Edinburgh) – €250 compensation
- Medium distance – Between 1500km and 3500km ( e.g. London – Athens) – €400 compensation
- Long distance – Over 3500km (e.g. London – Tokyo) – €600 compensation
What are the Next Steps to Take?
If you find yourself in a situation where your flight has been delayed, there are necessary steps you must take to claim compensation.
1. Find out WHY
The reason behind the delay oftentimes determines whether or not you get compensated. If the delay was within the airline’s control, they are obligated to compensate you for the inconvenience. The airline should inform you of the cause of the delay but if they don’t, you can reach out to them and ask directly.
2. Gather your documents
Put all relevant documents together to help you successfully claim your compensation. This includes your flight ticket and booking confirmation, and any other receipt for expenses made as a result of the delay.
3. Kickstart the process
If you bought your ticket through a travel agency, contact them immediately on the next steps to take. You can also go through an agency like Flightright fighting for the rights of air passengers. Going the route alone can be a tad stressful but not impossible. Simply contact the airline or visit their website for a form to fill and submit to get compensated.
More air passengers need to take advantage of the EC regulation 261/2004 and exercise their rights when they face a flight disruption. This article already highlights everything you need to know about the regulations and the next steps to take.