Flight delays and cancellations happen more frequently than you think, with about 1000 cancelled flights recorded daily in the UK. This causes great inconvenience to passengers and there are now agencies like Flightright working to ensure that passengers get compensated by airlines for these disruptions. The EU 261/2004 regulation protects the rights of passengers in situations like this. In this article, we have highlighted some frequently asked questions about flight delays and cancellations.
What Causes Flight Delays and Cancellations?
There are several reasons why your flight could be delayed or cancelled and these reasons could be a major determinant of whether or not you get compensated. You can subdivide these reasons into two categories – reasons within the airline’s control and reasons beyond the airline’s control. Common reasons for flight disruptions include lack of crew or pilot, bad weather conditions, security issues, mechanical issues, lack of passengers, bird strikes, pilot unfit to fly, and computer glitches among others.
If your flight has been delayed or cancelled, it’s best to reach out to the airline to find out the cause of the disruption. You will eventually need this for your compensation claim.
Am I Entitled to Financial Compensation for a Delayed or Cancelled Flight?
Not everyone is aware of their rights to compensation after a delayed or cancelled flight. Following the EU 261/2004 regulation for flight passengers, you may be entitled to compensation if you experience flight delays, cancellations, or denied boarding. This law acknowledges that these disruptions cause great inconvenience to you as the passenger and you should therefore be compensated.
To be entitled to compensation, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- The airline is taking off from an EU or UK airport or landing in one, as long as it is headquartered in the EU or UK.
- You have a valid booking ticket and not a free or discounted one that is unavailable to the public.
- The reason for the flight disruption was within the airline’s control.
- For a flight delay, you had checked in at least 45 minutes before departure.
- For a flight cancellation, you were informed less than 14 days before the scheduled departure.
What Am I Entitled to Under the EC 261 Regulation?
Under the EC 261 regulation, you may be entitled to compensation of up to €600, depending on the flight distance. You will get €250, €400, and €600 for short-distance, medium-distance, and long-distance flight respectively. Additionally, you have access to the right to care, which includes complimentary food and drinks, free hotel booking, and internet service. If you were delayed for more than 5 hours or your flight got cancelled, you are entitled to a ticket refund or a flight rescheduling.
What Should I Do Next After a Flight Disruption?
If you ever experience a flight disruption, you should file a compensation claim. Contact the airline involved and get started with the process. Gather all relevant documents, including your booking information and receipts. For a seamless experience, it’s best to hire an experienced attorney or go through a travel agency.