Have you ever experienced a flight delay or cancellation? What do you do when you are faced with such? The EU regulation on flight disruptions has been helpful over the years in helping affected air passengers get compensated for the inconvenience caused by the airline. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, here are a few things you can do.
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1. Find out why the flight is delayed or cancelled
There are several reasons why your flight could be delayed or cancelled. Common reasons include air traffic control regulations, bad weather conditions, bird strikes, pilot unfit to fly, aircrew unavailable, tight flight schedules, etc. The airline is expected to inform air passengers of the reason behind the disruption. However, this isn’t common practice, and you may have to ask them directly. Simply walk to the information desk if you’re already at the airport; you can also speak to an agent on the phone or just email the airline.
Knowing the reason behind flight disruptions is important, as it can also determine whether or not you get compensated. If the reason is within the airline’s control, you may be entitled to compensation. If, on the other hand, it is due to extraordinary circumstances, then the airline is not obligated to compensate you.
2. Know the EU Regulation
The EU 261/2004 regulation is also known as the flight compensation regulation that protects your rights as an air passenger. No one should have to be inconvenienced after paying for a flight, especially when it’s the airline’s fault. Flight delays and cancellations can mess with your itinerary and you should be compensated for that. Under the EC 261 law, you could get up to €250 – €600 in compensation in addition to rights to care, such as free meals and drinks, free hotel booking, and more.
However, this only applies if your flight is taking off from an EU member state or landing in one with an airline headquartered in the EU. Also, if it was a delay, you must have checked in at least 45 minutes before departure.
3. Gather your documents
Every document is relevant and can come in handy. This is not the time to discard documents that you feel are no longer in use. Gather every relevant document, starting from your electronic tickets to the boarding pass, baggage pass, meal vouchers, receipts, etc. Ensure you don’t lose any of them if you still want to claim compensation.
4. Claim compensation
Claiming compensation is no walk in the park but also not impossible. You can claim compensation for a flight operated on in the last six years. Contact the airline on ways to go about it or hire an attorney or a firm like Flightright to do the work for you.
Finding out that your flight has been delayed or cancelled can be quite devastating. You can, however, cover up for some of the inconveniences by getting the airline to compensate you. Many travellers would usually let it go, but you don’t have to, as you would be exercising your rights under the law by claiming compensation.