There has been a 72 percent increase in delays and cancellations of UK flights since 2018. While flight delays have been normalized over the years, it doesn’t change the fact that long delays tend to cause great inconvenience to passengers. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, you can get compensated, according to the EU 261 regulation. There are also now more agencies, like Flightright, fighting for air passengers, ensuring they get duly compensated when the need arises.
What is the EU 261 Law?
The EU 261 law, also known as the flight compensation regulation, was passed in 2004 to favour passengers should they ever face an unjustifiable flight disruption. Airlines tend to get away with a lot and if your flight is delayed, you don’t have to endure the inconvenience and let the airlines go scot-free. This law protects your rights by acknowledging that a long delay causes great inconvenience to you as a passenger. While this compensation will not take away any damage caused as a result of the delay, it can at least help reduce the sting and frustration of being delayed for long hours.
What Are You Entitled to Under this Law?
Under the EU 261/2004 regulation, you may be entitled to monetary compensation of between €250 and €600 per person, depending on the flight distance. The flight distance is calculated as follows:
- Short distance – Below 1500km (e.g. London – Edinburgh) – €250 compensation
- Medium distance – Between 1500km and 3500km ( e.g. London – Athens) – €400 compensation
- Long distance – Over 3500km (e.g. London – Tokyo) – €600 compensation
In addition to the monetary compensation, you also get assistance and access to basic services. This may include access to the airport lounge, complimentary food and drinks, and telephone calls, emails, or faxes.
If the delay is longer than 5 hours or is eventually cancelled, you have the right to request a ticket refund or reschedule your flight at no additional cost to you. You also have the right to be informed of your rights under the flight compensation regulation as an air passenger and of any flight delays or cancellations that may occur.
Are You Eligible?
While it would be nice to get compensation for any flight disruption, you must first be sure that you meet the eligibility criteria. This includes that you:
- Started your trip at an EU airport, or land in an EU airport, with the airline headquartered in the EU.
- Have a valid booking ticket.
- Checked in on time, which is at least 45 minutes from the original departure time.
Also read: How can I go to Canada from Colombia?
What Should You Do Next After a Flight Delay?
Now that you have arrived at your destination later than you should have, the next step is to claim compensation for the inconvenience caused. Reach out to the airline to find out the cause of the delay and then kickstart the process. If a compensation claim form is available on the airline’s website, you can start with that or email them directly. Include all relevant documents and get an attorney or an experienced travel agency to aid in a seamless process.