Have you ever thought of the possibility of getting a flight delay compensation for every time your flight got delayed? Let’s face it, no one wants to deal with the frustration of getting their flight delayed after rushing to make it to the airport on time. However, it’s not news that it happens often and a recent report shows the average amount of time passengers had to wait at the major airports in the UK for delayed scheduled flights.
While these delays have become a common occurrence, lengthy delays tend to cause great inconvenience to the passengers. The good news here is that the EU 261/2004 regulation has been established to compensate affected passengers for the inconvenience caused.
What is the EU 261/2004 Regulation?
The EU 261/2004 regulation was passed to protect the rights of air passengers in the case of severe flight disruptions. This applies not only to delayed flights but also to cancelled flights and denied boarding. If your flight has been delayed for at least two hours, you are entitled to some form of compensation.
The eligibility criteria to qualify for this compensation include:
- Your flight took off from an EU member state or the UK or arrived at an airport situated in the EU or UK. The latter only applies if the airline is headquartered in an EU member state.
- You checked in on time, which is usually at least 45 minutes before the originally scheduled time of departure.
- You arrived at your final destination at least three hours later than you should have. If you were delayed for less than three hours but more than two hours, other forms of compensation apart from monetary may apply.
What Are You Entitled to?
If your flight is delayed, you may be entitled to monetary compensation ranging from €250 – €600, depending on the flight distance. €250, €450, and €600 are awarded to short (below 1500km), medium (between 1500km and 3500km), and long distance (above 3500km) flights respectively.
However, if you were delayed for at least two hours, you are entitled to other perks. This includes free meals and drinks and access to the airport lounge for comfort. There is also access to other basic services such as free internet connection and telephone. If your flight is delayed for more than five hours, you have the right to request a ticket refund or flight rescheduling, with no additional cost to you. If you will be spending the night at the airport due to the delay, you are entitled to a free hotel booking.
What Can You Do While You Wait?
It is no doubt that being delayed can be frustrating. However, while you wait, you can make the best use of time. Start by getting yourself familiar with your rights under the EC 261 law and gather all relevant documents that will help you through the process of claiming compensation. Also, contact all relevant parties that can help you in this situation. This can include your travel agency and an attorney. At the end of the day, the delay has caused you a great inconvenience and you deserve to be duly compensated for that.