Those that booked a flight that departed from a European country or you chose the services of a European airline, you are protected thanks to EU regulation 261/2004 whenever the flight is cancelled or delayed. However, this does not mean that you will be guaranteed a compensation. There are rules that apply, according to Flightright, a leading provider of compensation claim services, in regards to what is possible and what is not.
The EU regulation is pretty exact but most people do not know much about it. This is why you should be aware of the following.
The European rules dictate that denied boarding regulation is automatically applied when:
- There is a confirmed booking involved.
- The passenger checked in on time.
- The trip starts at an airport in Europe or lands at an EU airport.
When traveling with an airline that is non-EU based from a destination that is non-EU, the airline is not forced to take the same care when servicing you. However, the Condition of Carriage document of the airline can include compensations.
Flight Delays – Your Entitlement
The assistance that you are entitled to will depend on the delay length and the flight length.
- Flight delays over 2 hours
In this case, the airline is forced to give you 2 free faxes, emails or phone calls, free refreshments and meals and free hotel transfer and hotel accommodation whenever overnight stays are mandatory.
Every single passenger can also make a compensation claim when “extraordinary circumstances” did not happen.
- Flight delays over 5 hours
In this situation, you can choose to get a refund or be re-routed, similarly to the situation in which the flight is cancelled. Every affected passenger can still claim a flight delay compensation in a similar fashion as with the delays over 2 hours.
One thing that most people do not know is that a claim can be made up to 6 years after a cancelled or delayed flight, whenever flying out or in off an airport in the EU. In the event that the flight arrives at the destination with a delay of over 3 hours, the flight delay compensation claim can be activated.
What you receive as compensation depends on flight distance, length and delay reason. The flight delay compensation can be claimed based on the regulations set by the EU Denied Boarding Regulation.
Connecting Flights Compensation
Due to some legal cases that became precedents, passengers that fly with an airline that is non-EU can receive compensation whenever the flight departs from the EU and is delayed by a minimum of 3 hours (based on the final destination time). This activates whenever there is a connection that is missed, even if outside of Europe.
As an example, when you fly from London and you want to reach Sydney, and there is a stopover in Singapore, whenever the Singapore to Sydney part of the trip is delayed by over 3 hours (or when it is cancelled), a flight delay compensation claim is possible.
When the airline is capable of proving that the flight delay or cancellation was due to an extraordinary circumstance, compensation does not have to be paid. Extraordinary circumstances are practically situations that the airline cannot control. Some examples of reasons that can be mentioned include security risks, political instability, unlawful acts, long security queues, drone disruption, and severe weather conditions.
Keep in mind that airline staff strikes are not considered to be an extraordinary circumstance. This means that compensation can be offered.
Even when the extraordinary circumstance happens you cannot claim financial compensation, assistance is mandatory if the flight is delayed and the airline needs to properly take care of you. This includes offering refreshments, meals, hotel transfers and guaranteed accommodation.