Delays and cancellations of flights can be a frustrating and stressful experience for any traveler. However, passengers are protected by various regulations, such as the European Union’s Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 and the US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) rules. These regulations provide rights and compensation to passengers affected by flight delays and cancellations. In this article, we will discuss how to get compensation for delayed or cancelled flights.
Understanding Your Rights
The European Union’s Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, which applies to all flights departing from the EU, as well as flights from non-EU countries to the EU operated by an EU airline, provides passengers with several rights in the event of a delayed or cancelled flight.
Under this regulation, if your flight is cancelled or delayed by more than three hours, you may be entitled to compensation ranging from €250 to €600, depending on the length of the flight and the length of the delay. Passengers may also be entitled to reimbursement of the cost of meals, refreshments, and accommodation, as well as the cost of alternative transport to their final destination.
Similarly, in the United States, the DOT’s rules provide passengers with various rights and protections, including the right to compensation for certain types of flight delays and cancellations. Under these rules, airlines are required to provide compensation to passengers if a flight is delayed or cancelled due to reasons within the airline’s control, such as maintenance issues or crew shortages. However, airlines are not required to provide compensation if the delay or cancellation is due to circumstances beyond their control, such as severe weather or air traffic control restrictions.
Submitting a Claim
If you believe you are entitled to compensation for a delayed or cancelled flight, the next step is to submit a claim to the airline. In most cases, airlines have a formal process for submitting claims for compensation, which may be available on their website or by contacting their customer service department.
When submitting a claim, it is important to provide as much information as possible, including your flight number, the date of the flight, and the reason for the delay or cancellation. You should also provide any documentation or evidence you have, such as your boarding pass, receipts for expenses incurred, and any communication you had with the airline regarding the delay or cancellation.
In some cases, airlines may require passengers to submit a claim within a certain timeframe, so it is important to check the airline’s policy regarding claims for compensation.
Appealing a Decision
If the airline denies your claim for compensation, or if you are not satisfied with the compensation offered, you may have the option to appeal the decision. In the EU, passengers can file a complaint with the national enforcement body responsible for enforcing Regulation (EC) No 261/2004. In the US, passengers can file a complaint with the DOT’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division.
It is important to note that filing a complaint or appeal may not guarantee that you will receive compensation, but it can be a useful tool for resolving disputes and holding airlines accountable for their obligations to passengers.
In conclusion, delays and cancellations of flights can be a frustrating experience for passengers. However, it is important to understand your rights and the options available for getting compensation in these situations. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can increase your chances of getting compensation for a delayed or cancelled flight.
Here are some resources that can help you understand the subject more:
- European Commission – Air passenger rights: https://ec.europa.eu/transport/passenger-rights/en/air/index.html
- US Department of Transportation – Aviation Consumer Protection: https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer
- AirHelp – Flight Compensation Calculator: https://www.airhelp.com/en/flight-delay-compensation/
- FlightAware – Flight Tracker: https://flightaware.com/
- Skyscanner – Flight Delay Compensation Guide: https://www.skyscanner.com/tips-and-inspiration/compensation-for-delayed-or-cancelled-flights-a-guide