How To Claim EU Flight Compensation For Delayed Flights
If you frequently fly to popular
European destinations, chances are that you’ve found yourself stuck at an
airport departures gate well past your flight’s departure time more than once
on your adventures.
Unfortunately, unexpected delays to flights is one of the main issues associated with international travel. If you’re sat reading this because your flight has just been delayed, regardless of the reason for the delay you should know that you might be able to claim EU flight compensation with the help of a reputable company like Airhelp.
(Airhelp helps airline passengers to get the compensation they are entitled to after a disrupted flight e.g. a cancellation, delay or overbooking).
Here’s what you need to do next:
Check the airline’s own policy for flight delays
The first thing to do is to check the airline’s website for
their policy on compensation for delayed flights. Here they will outline the
procedure they expect their customers to follow in the event of a delay. Be
mindful that if your flight is delayed, the 300 or so other passengers are all
going to try and get answers from the airline staff at the departure desk so save
yourself a stressful wait in line and wait for an announcement.
If your flight is delayed over a certain amount of time,
depending on the circumstances, the airline must provide you with:
Food and water
Access to the internet and a phone call
Accommodation and hotel shuttle transportation
for overnight delays
The airline may give you vouchers to get these things at the
airport. If in doubt, politely ask one of the airline staff to clarify their
position to you before you make your own purchases.
If you don’t receive any help at the airport the airline may cover reasonable expenses incurred because of the delay so keep your receipts, however, be mindful that you are unlikely to be reimbursed for anything the airline deems unnecessary so don’t expect to claim for expensive hotel stays and restaurant bills.
Find out whether you can claim compensation
It’s important to remember that you can only claim compensation if the delay is caused by the airline themselves – for example, if there was a technical fault with the plane or they had staffing issues. You’re unlikely to receive compensation if the delay was caused by something outside of the airline’s control such as bad weather or security concerns.
Determine what compensation you are entitled to
The compensation you will receive is directly associated to the length of time you are delayed, and the total distance you’re due to travel with the airline during the journey in question.
Less than 1,500km – 2 hours
Over 1,500km and within the EU – 3 hours
Between 1,500km and 3,500km and between EU and non-EU countries – 3 hours
More than 3,500km and between EU and non-EU countries – 4 hours
READ MORE TRAVEL GUIDES FROM WANDERLUSTERS
You don’t have to take the flight if it is 5 or more hours delayed
If your EU flight is delayed by 5 or more hours, then you
can choose not to wait for it. If you don’t take the flight, by law the airline
must give you all of the following:
a full refund for the flight
a full refund for other flights from the airline
that you won’t use in the same booking, such as an onward or return flight
if you’re part-way through a journey, a flight
back to the airport you originally departed from
If you do decide to wait it out and take the flight when it
arrives, and the delay was caused by the airline, you can claim up to €600 in
Remember that regardless of the length of the delay you are
unlikely to receive any compensation if the flight delay is caused by something
outside of the airline’s control so check the cause of the delay with the
airline before making a decision.
What to do if your flight is cancelled
If your flight is cancelled, you have the legal right to:
a full refund – including the cost of other
flights in the same booking from the same airline that you won’t use such as
return or onward flights
a replacement flight to get you to your
a return flight to your departure airport if you
are already halfway through a multi-stop journey
If the airline staff are able to, secure your refund or
replacement flight whilst at the airport, otherwise deal with the airline
directly when you return home.
If you choose a replacement flight and have to remain at the
airport for any length of time (if
you are let’s hope it’s got some serious amenities) the airline is legally
bound to provide you with the same support as it would for a delayed flight.
Don’t forget that you can claim compensation if the replacement flight delays
your original arrival time by 2 hours or more.
If in doubt, call the airline you’re travelling with direct and ask them how you can claim the compensation you’re entitled to.
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Have you ever experienced a European flight delay? Share your experiences in the comments below!