Your flight has been delayed or cancelled and here you are, stranded at the airport, and wondering what to do next? We’ve got you!
Flight disruptions are not a new thing, and any frequent traveller would tell you their ordeal. However, the interesting part is that you can always claim compensation for the inconvenience caused by the airline. Also, agencies like Flightright are working hard to ensure every air passenger exercises their rights.
1. Know Your Rights
The EU 261 regulation passed in 2004 exists for a reason, which is to protect the rights of everyone travelling by air in the EU and ensure they get a fair service. This applies in cases of flight delays, flight cancellations, denied boarding, or missed connecting flights. Air passengers are entitled to €250 – €600 in monetary compensation under this law.
The exact amount you get depends on your flight distance and not your ticket price. For a short flight distance below 1500km, you may be entitled to €250 and €400 for a medium flight distance. A long distance, however, would attract €600. This price is also not affected if you took a business trip or are travelling with friends.
2. Check the Eligibility Criteria
As long as you meet the following criteria, you are covered:
- You have a valid booking information.
- You are flying from the EU or UK or in an airline headquartered in those regions.
- You were notified of the delay or cancellation less than 14 days before departure.
- You arrived at the airport at least 45 minutes before the scheduled time.
- You arrived at your final destination three or more hours later than the original time on your flight ticket.
- The airline is responsible for the flight disruption.
3. Accept the Complimentaries
If you are ever delayed at the airport, know that you are within your rights to get free food and drinks. While you wait, help yourself with these things. In some cases, you may have access to a lounge where you get free internet.
If the flight was delayed overnight or eventually cancelled, and you have to spend the night at the airport, you are also entitled to free hotel booking. Airlines should make these readily available but in cases where they don’t, you can always request it from them, as the EU 261 regulation protects you on that.
4. Get Compensated
Now that you know your rights under EU law as an air passenger, you can take active steps towards claiming compensation.
This includes gathering all necessary documents, such as your flight ticket and booking information, receipts for payments incurred as a result of the disruption, boarding and luggage pass, and vouchers.
Get the form on the airline’s website and apply for compensation. You can also contact your travel agency, get an attorney, or even hire an agency to guide you through the process.
No one wants to ever deal with a delayed or cancelled flight, but what do you do when it happens to you? This article can guide you on the next best steps to take should you find yourself in such a situation.