Experiencing a flight delay isn’t something anyone looks forward to, but it happens more often than you can imagine. What do you do in such a situation? In this article, we will share a step-by-step approach to handling flight delays.
Have you ever heard of flight delay compensation? This is under the EU 261 regulation passed in 2004 to protect the rights of air passengers. You may be entitled to compensation between €250 and €600 and other rights to care such as free internet, complimentary snacks and drinks, and access to a free hotel booking for overnight stays.
This law applies to flights departing from an EU airport or landing in one, provided it’s a European airline. It also only applies when the reason for the delay is within the airline’s control, such as the pilot being unfit to fly, inadequate flight preparation, strikes, or mechanical issues. If you’re flying from a place other than the European member states, you can do your research and find out the laws that protect you in the case of a flight delay.
Knowing your rights can save you lots of worries because despite being inconvenienced, you can rest assured knowing you have rights to compensation and rights to care.
The cause for the delay can determine whether or not you get compensated, so this will be a good time to find out. Walk to the information desk or contact the airline directly, as is within your rights, to find out the cause of the delay. If the cause is due to extraordinary circumstances, such as an adverse weather condition or security threat that the airline can’t control, then you may not be entitled to compensation. In this case, you may only be entitled to your right to care and not monetary compensation.
It is also important to note that airlines can deny the cause of the delay. You can request proof to show that it was indeed caused by extraordinary circumstances before you can be denied compensation. Preferably, get the cause for the delay in writing, so you can use it as a supporting document when making your claim.
To claim compensation, you will need all the relevant documents in your care. This is not the time to throw away your luggage pass or boarding pass. Keep everything intact, even after your flight. This also includes your electronic ticket and booking confirmation, vouchers, and receipts. If you spent anything extra as a result of the delay, have the receipts with you. While you wait for your flight, start putting these documents together to make the process easier when it’s time to claim compensation.
The inconvenience caused by flight delays can be quite frustrating but you can, however, make the most of it. This article already highlights the three key steps you can take once you find yourself in such a situation.